Platelet Rich Plasma for My Joints! My Hair! My Vagina! Oh My!

Health Tips / Platelet Rich Plasma for My Joints! My Hair! My Vagina! Oh My!
Platelet Rich Plasma

You may have read the phrase “Platelet Rich Plasma Injections” somewhere, but it didn’t stick in your brain. Understandable. A lot of stuff flies by every hour on the internet. Or a friend recommended it to you when she saw you limping around and suggested you give these a try.

Give this Health Tip a three minute read and you may be very pleased with what you learn.



Platelets are one of the white cells circulating in your blood. Their day-to-day usefulness is to help your blood clot when you cut yourself. But decades ago, it was discovered that platelets also contained certain chemicals (growth factors, cytokines) that triggered healing of injured tissue like tendons, ligaments, cartilage. Injected into your scalp, they could also grow hair (really!). Into your vagina, could tighten its muscles (really!!). Using these chemicals therapeutically gave rise to the term Regenerative Medicine.

The PRP injections work best when you use your own platelets. First, our PRP Nurse Specialist, Rachael Feliz, will draw off a tube of your blood and spin it down in a centrifuge to layer out its separate components. She will then extract the thin layer of concentrated platelets and inject these through a very tiny needle into whatever area needs work (your knee, elbow, scalp, vagina).

The first PRP joint injections began in the 1970’s, a welcome addition to cortisone injections, which could provide temporary relief but never triggered actual healing. Cortisone was followed by hyaluronic acid injections (Synvisc and a dozen other brands). Both cortisone and hyaluronic acid injections provided only temporary relief, usually only a holding pattern on your way to surgery. And, of course, orthopedic surgery itself did not come with any guarantees of success.

Unlike cortisone, which reduces inflammation, or hyaluronic acid, which injects a synthetic joint padding, PRP actually triggers rebuilding within the arthritic joint (remember: “regenerative medicine”). Patient satisfaction statistics are excellent: According to NIH data 78% of patients undergoing PRP treatment were able to enjoy normal lives and avoid surgery with additional injections sometimes needed at 8 month intervals.

The commonest areas of treatment are:

  • Knee arthritis or pain,
  • Shoulder arthritis or rotator cuff injuries,
  • Hip arthritis or pain,
  • Disk degeneration in the low back,
  • Plantar fasciitis,
  • Carpal tunnel,
  • Trigger Finger.

One very important point: Rachael does her PRP injection under ultrasound guidance. I mention this having observed far too often orthopedic ‘assembly line’ practices where injections are done without such guidance, the doctor relying on his “experience” (quotes deliberate and ironic), success rate definitely lower.

I myself am a major fan of “before and after” treatment x-rays, and to me these are pretty dramatic. This is a patient of my associate, Dr. Caley Scott, who suffered from painful knee arthritis. Look carefully at the rough edges and the narrow joint space between the top and bottom bone on the right. Now look at the second picture after three PRP injections 6 weeks later.


Your blood runs cold when you, then your hair stylist remark about your ‘thinning hair’ or your ‘patches of hair loss’. You’re generally prescribed cortisone (cream or injection) and or Minoxidil which generally get ‘so-so’ reviews from patients. Remembering that PRP is “regenerating” your scalp rather than suppressing inflammation, across the board, PRP gets higher “satisfaction’ reviews. Again, look at the pictures.

LASTLY, YOUR VAGINA! (Sorry, no before/after photos)

You laugh or cough and a little urine leaks out, forcing you to rush to the bathroom to clean up. Sex is painful, the lubricants aren’t working, so now you’re avoiding sex altogether. You keep getting vaginal infections. You’re losing touch with your sensuality. 

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you might benefit by scheduling with Rachael for a treatment called the PRP V-Shot. It is a non-surgical, minimally-invasive office treatment that uses regenerative medicine to revitalize and rejuvenate the vaginal walls, vulva, and labia. 

When PRP is injected into your vaginal area, symptoms such as dyspareunia (painful sex), dryness, frequent infections, and urinary incontinence diminish. Women who have had the V-Shot report dramatic improvements in sex drive, arousal, sensitivity, and the ability to have orgasms. 

Even after decades, health insurance companies regard PRP as “experimental”, so it is not covered by insurance. Orthopedic and hair injections are $500 for each session; the vaginal rejuvenation is a single visit $1500.

Hope this has been useful for you.

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD

13 thoughts on “Platelet Rich Plasma for My Joints! My Hair! My Vagina! Oh My!

    I called and left a message this afternoon. I’m 75 years old and I’ve been through about 7 months of physical therapy for shoulders & lower back since last October. And, several steroid shots from April through May, but I don’t want to become dependent on steroids.
    I have Polymyalgia Rheumatica, which now seems to be affecting my right shoulder and outer left knee. I first thought maybe I should try acupuncture, but then noticed the PRP shown on your website which might be even more worthwhile. I do have Humana Medicare PPO insurance, which I would be interested to know if that could be acceptable by your offices? Either way, I would like to know what the costs might be for the acupuncture and PRP, and when is the earliest that I might get an appointment. My daughter’s co-worker had spoken highly of the processes at your location on Clybourn.

    Roseann Franciszkiewicz
    Posted October 6, 2023 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Roseann,

      Please call our office at 773-296-6700. We can talk you through all of your scheduling options as well as costs.

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted December 23, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    7 years ago my horse received a one time PRP injection and stem cell injection in his lateral collateral ligament (outside ligament around his ankle attaching to the hoof wall) to help repair a strained ligament- sort of like a sprained ankle). He has not had any issues with that ligament since then, and this is a 1300lb animal who is on his feet almost all day 🙂 The horse world has been using these treatments for almost a decade, if not longer.

    Patricia Kolber
    Posted August 25, 2023 at 4:06 pm

      Pretty amazing stuff!

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted September 5, 2023 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Antonella
    This from the NIH
    PRP is effective in mild cases of AA . PRP was reported to be more effective in treating AA than topical minoxidil 5%. A comparative study established the efficacy of PRP comparable with intralesional triamcinolone for the treatment of AA .May 9, 2023 NOTE: “Intralesional triamcinolone” area cortisone injections.

    Dr. E
    Posted August 22, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Mary
    You’ll need to call and ask Rachael about prices.

    Dr. E
    Posted August 22, 2023 at 4:10 pm

    Is PRP and Stem Cell Transplant the same ? My daughter and I both have thinning hair . She had a scalp biopsy done and was diagnosed with an auto immune condition attacking her hair follicles. Wondering if this would help

    Antonella Perrino
    Posted August 22, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    This is a quote from the NIH
    What is the difference between stem cell therapy and platelets?
    Platelets are the frontline healing response to injuries as they release growth factors for tissue repair. SCs, on the other hand, are the unspecialized, undifferentiated, immature cells that based on specific stimuli can divide and differentiate into specific type of cells and tissues.

    Dr. E
    Posted August 22, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    Both knees are trashed from being a delivery truck driver for 33 yrs. Left knee is worst. How many treatments are needed (estimated) to notice any difference in relief and mobility? At $500 a pop, I’m hoping significant results and improvements are noticed right away with this treatment and will encourage me to continue.

    Posted August 22, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Sounds intriguing, Dr. E. Is this an expensive treatment? What might be a ballpark figure for one knee? Thanks.

    Mary Parisoe
    Posted August 22, 2023 at 9:46 am

      Hi Mary,

      Each patient has a unique situation. The consultation, luckily, is covered by insurance. Please call the office at 773-296-6700 to find out more information.

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted September 5, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for all the valuable info on PRP! Question: Is PRP and stem cell transplant the same procedure?
    My friend and I both played college volleyball. At 50, we finally broke down and both had the same type of knee surgery (meniscus tears; wear and tear over the years from lateral movement on the court).
    The day of my knee surgery, the surgeon came out and told my husband, “I repaired her tear…but she has more arthritis than other patients who are 75. I’ll likely be seeing you in a few years for knee replacement.” Sadly, it’s been 5yrs since surgery and I still have chronic knee pain. In addition, my opposite hip is aching from compensating. Ugh:(
    Recently my college volleyball friend did stem cell transplant and is beyond thrilled with the results. Is PRP & Stem Cell Transplant the same procedure?
    If not, do you offer stem cell too?

    Posted August 22, 2023 at 9:36 am

      Hi Patty,

      These terms are often interchangeably used. PRP is often used for the exact type of situation that you are in. Please call the office at 773-296-6700 for more information. We are happy to discuss options available to you.

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted September 5, 2023 at 4:39 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *