What’s the Difference Between Cortisone and PRP Injections?

Posted on 
March 22, 2023

If you are struggling to find relief for your joint pain after physical therapy and/or medications, you might be considering joint injections as your next step. Cortisone injections are a common procedure with the goal of reducing pain in damaged joints. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections and other orthobiologic injections are gaining popularity in sports medicine and orthopedics. Let’s break down the differences and how to determine what’s best for you when it comes to these two non-operative treatment options.

What is a Cortisone Injection?

Traditionally a more common and well-known approach, cortisone injections are used by orthopedic specialists at Forté to treat a wide variety of conditions. Derived from a type of steroid called corticosteroids that became popular because of their strong anti-inflammatory properties and instant pain relief, cortisone injections are most commonly used in our joints to reduce inflammation and pain and get people back to their everyday activities. Better suited for a short-term solution, cortisone injections act as more of a band-aid to the underlying issue and require close monitoring, as frequent usage can cause tissue damage and unwanted side effects. While the injection helps reduce pain, it typically doesn’t cure the underlying problem that is causing the inflammation.

What is a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection?

PRP injections involve the process of using the properties in your blood through a blood draw followed by a machine that separates the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood.

After numbing the problematic area, a Forte specialist will use a needle to inject your PRP into the targeted area. After an initial period of an increase in pain, the goal of the injection is prolonged pain and anti-inflammatory relief for things like arthritis-related pain In addition to soft tissue Injuries (tendon, ligament, muscle). Because this method uses your own blood, PRP injections help promote your own body’s response to pain and injured tissues. 

Which Option Is Right for Me?

When there are many different treatment options available, it can be difficult to navigate the path to finding relief from your pain. Our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists can help guide you through the risks, benefits and alternative options to help you get back to living the life you want. 

Our very own Dr. Matthew Negaard specializes in ultrasound-guided injections, PRP treatments, orthobiologics, and sports medicine. Request an appointment HERE or call at 317.817.1200.

Orthobiologic treatments have not been authorized by the FDA and are considered experimental by the FDA.

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