March 2024

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What Is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?

platelet rich plasma diagr upd 237x300What is platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy?

Platelet rich plasma is an emerging technology.  This means that it is a new medical technology that is gaining acceptance in the medical world.  As more research comes out, we have more information about how platelet rich plasma helps patients.

What is the “treatment gap”?

The treatment gap refers to the fact that for many orthopedic conditions, there is not a good “middle” treatment. Consider rotator cuff tears, bursitis, biceps tendinitis, impingement syndrome, tendinitis of the elbow, or arthritis of the shoulder. On one side there are non-surgery options. These are watchful waiting, physical therapy, chiropractic care, injections with steroid, oral medicines and anti-inflammatories.

On the other side of the treatment gap are more invasive surgical options.  These are good options but may not be right for all patients. There is risk to surgery, it requires time away from work, and can be expensive.

Some patients are in the middle.  They try all non-surgery options, but these do not provide real or lasting relief from pain.  But they are also not able to have surgery either.

This is where Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) steps in.

Platelet rich plasma therapy can “fill the treatment gap.”  Platelet rich plasma is a substance made from your own blood containing a very high level of platelets. Platelets contain many special proteins that can cause a healing process where they are injected.

To make platelet rich plasma, a nurse will draw a sample of blood. Special equipment brings out the platelet rich part. It is then injected either into a joint or other problem area under ultrasound guidance.

All of the special proteins in the platelets send signals to the body. This begins a healing response.  After a period of 2 to 4 weeks, patients experience relief from their pain which previously did not respond to other options.

The Bone & Joint Surgery Clinic offers the most advanced non-surgical regenerative options for your pain. Dr. Johnny T. Nelson MD applies advanced ultrasound techniques to ensure proper application of your platelet rich plasma therapy.

Do you want to learn more about platelet rich plasma therapy and orthobiologics?  Please call 919-872-5296 to make a visit with Dr. Johnny T. Nelson, MD.  Dr. Nelson offers platelet rich plasma therapy for multiple orthopedic conditions.

What Is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy? Read More »

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Does Redness Around My Carpal Tunnel Incision Mean Infection?

Photo of patient's hand two weeks after carpal tunnel release with real-time ultrasound guidanceDoes redness around my carpal tunnel incision mean infection?

The short answer to this question is: usually not.

Before we explain this, it must be clarified. If you are experiencing redness around an incision, you must notify your physician. This blog post is not specific medical advice about your wrist, but about the healing process in general.

Redness around an incision can mean different things. This includes the small 5 mm “poke” incision performed for carpal tunnel release with real–time ultrasound guidance. Raleigh Hand Specialist Johnny T. Nelson MD performs this procedure. 

There are times where redness does mean infection.  Raleigh North Carolina carpal tunnel specialist Dr. Johnny T. Nelson, MD discusses the risk of infection with every patient.  This risk is extremely low.  The risk of infection is higher in patients with certain medical conditions, especially diabetes.  Other signs that suggest infection include fevers, chills, the overall feeling of aches or “feeling sick,” increasing pain and swelling of the entire hand, wrist, and forearm.

However, there are other times where redness is a very natural and normal part of the healing process.


After a procedure such as carpal tunnel release, the human body’s immune system does not “understand” what has happened. It only sees that there is a cut in the skin that places the body at risk for invasion by bacteria and infection.  So it does what it is designed to do, which is to send immune cells to the area to prevent infection from setting in.

This process is not called infection but rather “reaction.”  So Dr. Nelson may mention that your poke incision appears “reactive.”

This reactive redness is sometimes accompanied by a small amount of fluid.  This fluid is not “pus” but is usually a clearish fluid.  This is the part of the blood that contains many of the immune cells sent to the area to keep infectious organisms away.

If you have concerns about your incision, contact Dr. Nelson or the doctor who performed your surgery.


If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, if you have numbness and tingling in your hands that wakes you up at night, please visit or call 919-872-5296 to schedule a visit with Dr. Johnny T. Nelson, MD, Raleigh North Carolina carpal tunnel specialist.

Visit Dr. Nelson’s YouTube Channel or follow him on Instagram.

Does Redness Around My Carpal Tunnel Incision Mean Infection? Read More »

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