Pain and dysfunction from a musculoskeletal injury or overuse condition should not keep you from living your life. When traditional treatment options fail, cutting-edge regenerative medicine treatments can help you get moving faster and better. Therapeutic injections are an increasingly popular non-surgical treatment choice for painful musculoskeletal conditions, with newer orthobiologic treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy expanding the range of options. Jeffrey Lai, MD, performs therapeutic injections at his modern office in Torrance, California, using musculoskeletal ultrasound guidance to ensure optimal delivery. Ultrasound technology gives Dr. Lai the visual confirmation to ensure that all of his procedures are pinpoint accurate. Find out how to harness your body’s own repair system by calling Jeffrey Lai, MD today or book an appointment online.
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. Platelets and plasma are two of the four major components of blood, each with a role to play in nourishing and repairing the tissues in your body. Platelets were once through to help only in blood clotting and wound repair, but now we understand that the platelet alpha granules contain bioactive growth factors, such as IGF-1, PDGF, BMP, and TGF-β, which play a key role in tissue repair and inflammation. High-quality PRP minimizes unwanted red blood cells and white blood cells, and contains a much higher concentration of beneficial platelets than normally found in your blood.
No longer reserved only for professional or elite athletes, PRP has helped patients regain movement so they can continue doing what they love most. Therapeutic injections can be an effective way of treating musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain problems such as:
If you have been receiving treatment for a while and it is not improving or is losing its effectiveness, therapeutic injections could help.
The PRP growth factors play a role in your body’s own healing cascade. They can trigger the growth of new tissue, reduce chronic inflammation, prevent degeneration, and signal your own stem cells to regenerate new tissue.
Unlike other treatments, PRP is made from your own blood so there is no risk of allergy or immune reaction. As with any procedure, there are injection-related risks, such as bleeding and infection. These risks can be decreased when performed by an experienced sports medicine physician such as Dr. Lai under real-time ultrasound visualization.
STEP 1 - COMPLIMENTARY DISCOVERY CALL
The first step in getting PRP is to make sure you are a suitable candidate. During the initial complimentary discovery call with Dr. Lai, you will get answers to your questions and determine whether you will benefit from PRP.
STEP 2 - INITIAL OFFICE CONSULTATION AND EXAMINATION
Once Dr. Lai determines that you are a good candidate for PRP and you are comfortable moving forward, we will schedule an in-office visit. Prior to this first visit, we will send you an online questionnaire to gather information about your medical history, overall health, lifestyle, and concerns.
The office visit begins with a clinical examination by Dr. Lai during which you will describe your pain and injury. Dr. Lai will examine your body and ask you to perform specific movements to aid in the diagnosis.
During the ultrasound portion of the procedure, Dr. Lai will apply ultrasound gel to the skin of the area to be examined. The gel serves as a conductor for the high-frequency sound waves that will be transmitted through the body with images captured on the screen. Dr. Lai will use the ultrasound transducer to spread the gel over the affected area and as he glides the transducer around, you will be able to see generated images of your moving tissues. You and Dr. Lai can see the images together, allowing you to provide feedback while Dr. Lai is evaluating your condition. The images obtained during this procedure show real-time images with no radiation to help diagnose the issue and provide accuracy regarding the location of your pain.
Once Dr. Lai confirms the source of your pain and determines that PRP will be beneficial to you, our office will schedule an appointment for you to come back for the PRP procedure.
STEP 3 - SECOND OFFICE VISIT/PRP PROCEDURE AND INJECTION
Prior to coming in for your PRP procedure, we recommend that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated as we will be performing a blood draw during your PRP appointment.
PRP injections are performed conveniently in our office. This entire visit takes about one hour. After taking your vitals, our nurse will proceed to draw 30-60cc of your blood. From this sample, the PRP is processed using a validated centrifuge method where your blood is spun at very high speeds causing the platelets and blood cells to separate creating the PRP solution.
About 20 minutes is needed to prepare the PRP, and the remaining time is dedicated to the musculoskeletal injection. Unlike other clinics, every sample of PRP made by Dr. Lai is tested so that you know the exact concentration of platelets that you are receiving. Dr. Lai can customize the platelet concentration and other treatment variables such as the concentration of white blood cells to make leukocyte-rich or leukocyte-poor PRP. All of this will ensure that you receive the highest quality and concentration of beneficial platelets.
The actual injection with ultrasound visualization is very quick, lasting less than a minute per body part. Dr. Lai performs all PRP injections using musculoskeletal ultrasound guidance to ensure that the PRP gets to the right place - the best medicine in the world does not work if it is not delivered to the proper location.
Dr. Lai is the only sports medicine physician in the South Bay certified in musculoskeletal sonography (RMSK®), a qualification that demonstrates Dr. Lai’s expertise in using musculoskeletal ultrasound. Studies show that without musculoskeletal ultrasound guidance, even the most capable and experienced physicians are not able to place the injection precisely. This ultrasound guided injection will offer the best chance for pain relief and a quick recovery.
It may take several weeks for the PRP injections to have an effect. Commonly, patients experience an increase of pain and soreness in the first few days, which normally subsides to a dull ache after 3-5 days. This indicates that the healing cascade is underway. During this time, Dr. Lai will limit your activities, and you may be instructed to wear a brace or splint. Rest assured that the goal is to get you moving as safely and quickly as possible. For some conditions and injuries, multiple PRP injections are recommended, but some conditions improve with just one injection.
Dr. Lai will conduct a telephone conference with you approximately 5 days after your injection to get an update on your specific concerns and answer any questions you may have.
The PRP/orthobiologic consultation with Dr. Lai is $200. After Dr. Lai completes the evaluation, he may suggest various therapies including a combination of rest, physical therapy, medication, and therapeutic injections. PRP injections can vary in cost from $700 to $1200 per injection depending on the type and location.
Comprehensive In Office Consultation with Dr. Lai
Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (per injection, one location)
$700 - 1200
Our office is a cash-based practice. We do not accept or participate in any insurance programs. Our services are elective and therefore we require the patient to pay upfront for services rendered. We have also opted out of the Medicare Program and are only able to see Medicare patients who are willing to sign a Medicare Waiver, which restricts the patient’s ability to seek reimbursement from Medicare for medical services received at our office.
We understand that this may be disappointing to hear at first, but once you visit our office and experience the difference in convenience, quality of care, and our advanced treatments, you will understand the benefits of independent medical practice. We are here to serve YOU, not the insurance companies and their complicated health plans. Transparency is a priority to us and you will be provided with treatment or program costs before you agree to proceed.
Our office has negotiated discounted rates for the required lab work. We pass these discounted rates on to our patients and do not profit from these labs. If your insurance plan provides reimbursement for out-of-network providers, our office will provide you with an itemized statement that you can submit for possible reimbursement. Because health insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company, we cannot guarantee any level of insurance reimbursement.