What is the Difference Between Having a Cortisone Shot and a PRP Treatment?

I want to address the question of what is the difference between having a cortisone injection versus platelet-rich plasma for a sports injury, say tendinitis or plantar fasciitis. There have been some very good studies published comparing these two head to head, and what we find is that cortisone produces a good anti-inflammatory response fairly quickly, but it also wears off quite quickly. Your inflammation could be settled down for a few weeks and then the cortisone wears off.

The advantage of platelet-rich plasma is it is actually more powerful at reducing inflammation, and it lasts far longer, often in excess of 12 months. Many times we find that a treatment with platelet-rich plasma will cure a problem, whereas a treatment with cortisone might just provide a temporary Band-Aid.

Another thing to be cautious with cortisone is that it can actually cause some destruction of tissue. It can make your tendon a little bit more mushy and more subject to rupture. Or, if you’re injecting it into a joint, it can deteriorate the cartilage, whereas platelet-rich plasma will improve the integrity of the tissue rather than cause it any harm.

So if you had to choose between the two, I would be very much more in favour of platelet-rich plasma.

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Dr. Grant Pagdin

Dr. Pagdin is a leading expert in regenerative medicine in Western Canada. Dr. Pagdin is board-certified with the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (ABAARM) and a Fellow of the Interventional Orthobiologics Foundation. His primary interest is preventative and anti-aging medicine using stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments.

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