PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) Therapy Specialist

Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP has been shown to effectively treat many different orthopedic conditions without surgery. PRP uses the body’s own healing power in a concentrated dose injected directly to the site of the injury or orthopedic problem. Not every patient or injury can be helped by PRP, so it is important to find a doctor who can tell you if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Doctor Prem Ramkumar, platelet-rich plasma specialist, is located in Long Beach and serves patients in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding Southern California areas. He can explain your biologic options which may help your knee or hip pain without surgery. Contact Dr. Ramkumar’s team today!

What is platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP)?

Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) is a form of regenerative medicine that uses the natural growth factors in our blood cells to help heal damaged tissues in our joints. This is overall very experimental, and more is to be learned about this cellular therapy. Most studies demonstrate that PRP make no overall difference to many orthopedic conditions and processes. Platelets in our plasma (the liquid portion of the blood) are made up of proteins that speed up the healing process after a joint injury, eliminating the need for surgery. With its anti-inflammatory properties, platelet-rich plasma may be successful at healing damaged tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues. It can also help slow the process leading to early joint degeneration and arthritis. It is important to be clear: PRP does not reliably help in the setting of diffuse, or widespread, arthritis. Similarly, it does not work in complete tears that would otherwise be surgically repaired. PRP can provide some short-term and mid-term pain relief in small lesions, injuries, or tears. A current challenge in the science of PRP is that commercially available concentrations are not standardized and, thus, not easily tested to evaluate efficacy.


Platelet-rich plasma therapy is one of the biologic treatments offered by Dr. Prem Ramkumar in specific instances to help the body heal naturally after an orthopedic injury. Dr. Prem Ramkumar, orthopedic specialist, is versed in the scientific realities surrounding platelet-rich plasma therapy. He’s located in Long Beach and serves patients in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding Southern California areas.

How is platelet-rich plasma obtained?

Platelet-rich plasma comes from the patient’s blood. A sample is drawn, placed in a centrifuge, and spun to separate the platelet growth factors from the red blood cells.  Dr. Ramkumar then uses a needle to inject the platelet-rich plasma into the affected joint.


What does platelet-rich plasma treatment do?

When you injure yourself, your immune system tells platelets in the blood to move to the injured area to help it heal. Inflammation is critical in this healing process, and this is mediated by leukocytes.  Introducing additional platelets and regenerative proteins through PRP speeds up the healing process and eventually helping to reduce inflammation.

Do platelet-rich plasma injections work?

Frankly, it is rare that Dr. Ramkumar recommends PRP. Enough information is not scientifically available to routinely recommend this, nor is it financially justifiable. The scientific literature is mixed on PRP. There’s scientific evidence PRP injections release up to five times more growth factors than regular human blood, which is instrumental in helping to accelerate healing. However, PRP can be beneficial for professional athletes – especially when injected into tendons, ligaments, and soft tissue –  that may produce an accelerated recovery timeline.

Which orthopedic conditions or injuries are treated with platelet-rich plasma?

Platelet-rich plasma injections have been attempted for many injuries. Upon reading the literature, Dr. Ramkumar reserves certain types of PRP injections (Leukocyte-Rich or Leukocyte-Poor) for specific injuries that may prevent the need for a surgery:

  • Partial tear of the hamstring tendon non-responsive to 6 months of physical rehabilitation
  • Partial tear of the gluteus medius/abductor tendon non-responsive to 6 months of physical rehabilitation
  • Focal tear of articular cartilage in the knee non-responsive to hyaluronic acid injections and 6 months of physical rehabilitation


Does insurance cover PRP Therapy?

Since platelet-rich plasma injections are still considered experimental, most insurance companies will not cover the cost of the procedure. Be wary of cash-only practices touting PRP as an early treatment option, especially in the absence of a clear diagnosis from a musculoskeletal expert. These injections carry risk to both your wallet and your body, and a balanced and nuanced understanding of the published evidence is important before undergoing a PRP injection.


How do I get PRP?

We have our ideal PRP candidates receive the injection from Dr. Josh Snodgrass, who targets the injection with ultrasound guidance. You can reach out by calling 562-933-0050 during business hours. His office is located at 450 E. Spring St. Suite 1, Long Beach, CA 90806.