GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A revolutionary, low-risk injection that can treat a variety of conditions from sports injuries to hair loss taking the medical world by storm.

It’s called platelet-rich plasma therapy.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis, 7NEWS Anchor Taylor Murray spoke with a sports and family medicine physician and a professional athlete about the treatment.

Using the healing power of your own blood, a platelet-rich plasma, or PRP injection, is a type of orthopedic therapy used to heal damaged joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.

“Generally it is used to help promote healing in the body,” said Dr. Nathan Gasque, a sports and family medicine physician with Bon Secours St. Francis.

Dr. Gasque says a doctor will take a sample of your blood and spin it in a centrifuge to isolate the plasma. The plasma is then injected directly into the affected area.

“So, whether it be an injury that’s just not recovering quick enough or you’re athlete just trying to get out there faster, this is one of the options for you,” Dr. Gasque said.

The therapy can help patients find relief from age-related osteoarthritis, the dilemma of hair loss, and from sports-related injuries. That’s what led professional soccer player Lachlan McLean to try the treatment.

“In my second year of being a Greenville Triumph Player, I started getting this pain on the outside of my left knee… I was at a point in the season, where 50% of my movements would cause so much pain,” McLean said.

Mclean said the pain continued off and on until mid-season. But then, he got his first PRP injection and he says the relief came quickly.

“The difference that you feel like in joint mobility, smoothness of movements, and just overall pain relief, even after one treatment– I honestly can’t believe it worked,” McLean said.

Doctors say some will see results in a few weeks, for others, the therapy takes months to kick in.
But the overall injection process only takes around one hour.

“It is a quick procedure that can be done in office,” Dr. Gasque said.

Lachlan McLean says without the PRP injections his performance on the field would have suffered.

“Luckily for me, as soon as I had this treatment, on the back end of last season was quite injury-free and I was able to finish the season strong and help us, you know, push for the playoffs,” McLean said.

If you are interested in PRP injections, first reach out to your primary care doctor. The cost of a single treatment will typically be in the range of $500 to $2,500 dollars. Currently, few insurance plans cover the cost.

To submit a health topic for our Ask the Expert series, click here.