NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Every year, many people undergo surgery for problems with their joints.

Paul Gebauer was almost one of them. Gebauer, a 60-year-old from Clinton, was in extreme pain from an issue involving his shoulder.

“I was diagnosed with a torn tendon in my shoulder,” he said.

Thanks to his wife’s research, he found New Haven orthopaedic surgeon Phillip Luchini of Luchini Orthopaedic, who performs in in-office procedure to relieve joint pain.

The procedure uses something called platelet rich plasma or PRP. It is not like a cortisone shot which just eases pain. PRP actually uses blood’s own plasma to heal from within.

A patient’s blood is put into a centrifuge, which separates out the plasma. The plasma is then injected into the patient’s trouble area under ultrasound guidance.

“The platelets release their growth factors, and then that jumpstarts the natural healing process in the body,” Luchini said.

Areas that can be treated with PRP include shoulders, elbows, hips, wrists, knees, ankles and arthritic joints.

“This is another modality we can use to avoid surgical treatment in many cases,” Luchini said.

It worked in one try for Paul, who was in so much pain he was ready to undergo surgery if needed.

“It was a little sore for like a day or two, but then over a matter of like a week or so, it was like holy cow, it’s all better,” Gebauer said.

He can now do the simple things again that he once took for granted — including playing tennis with his daughter.

The procedure itself is not covered by insurance. Costs start at $500. It does not work on everyone, and some people need multiple treatments.