Plasma Injections: Do or Don't?

As a surgeon, I get asked a lot about plasma injections and their effect. Professional athletes have brought this treatment to the surface for healing sport injuries and I wanted to give my take. The cost is about $800 and typically not covered by insurance. 

surgeons perspective plasma injections for joint and muscle pain

How does it work?

Surgeons take about 30 cc's of the patient's concentrated blood, put it through a centrifuge to get the platelets out of the blood and inject it back into the patient. The platelet-rich plasma has a lot of healing power and growth factors that may heal tendons.

I've reviewed many studies on this particular procedure and they don't prove any positive findings. This looks more like a placebo effect versus a treatment for joint and muscle pain. 

Tiger Woods and other NFL players swear by this treatment but there are still many questions such how many injections you should get, how long to get them and whether it works or not long term. 

This treatment may be for someone who has tried many other medical treatments including physical therapy, but it shouldn't be the first line of defense for muscle or joint pain.

Patients suffering from any blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma need to stay far away from this treatment.

Do your research on this. As of now, there aren't sufficient studies that prove it's effectiveness regarding joint and muscle pain, long term.