What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment?
Platelet-rich plasma is (your own) blood plasma processed in a centrifuge to about five times the normal platelet concentration. The concentrated platelets and additional growth factors that stimulate healing in the body, are injected to your injured site.PRP can be injected directly into joints, tendons, or ligaments. It can also be combined with a stem cell treatment in order to augment the results of both forms of therapy. The aim of PRP is improved healing through the body’s natural healing mediators. Studies suggest that growth factors released by platelets recruit reparative cells and may augment and accelerate tissue healing. Many clinical trials are underway to determine the full spectrum of use for PRP.
PRP has the potential to:
- Reduce Inflammation
- Heal and repair tissues
- Trigger new tissue growth
- Develop new blood vessels
- Increase stem cell effectiveness
The Science of PRP
Our blood is made up of 93% red blood cells, 6% white blood cells, 1% platelets and plasma. Platelets are best known for their function of blood-clotting to stop bleeding. Platelets, however, are much more significant than this, as human platelets are also a critical component in injury healing.
Platelets are extremely rich in the connective tissue growth and healing factors. The body’s ‘first response’ is to deliver platelets to an injury. The goal of PRP is to maximize the number of platelets (while minimizing the number of red blood cells) in a solution that is injected into the injury site.. In summary, PRP creates, stimulates, and accelerates the body’s natural healing process.
Which Conditions Benefit Most from PRP?
PRP treatment works most effectively for chronic ligament and tendon sprains (tears) or inflammatory conditions that have failed other conservative treatment. PRP can reduce pain and disability for many cases of osteoarthritis.
Will PRP Treatment Help Me Avoid Surgery?
With any treatment option the outcome and sustained results are highly dependent on the extent of the injury. For example, a tendon or ligament injury can heal completely, utilizing PRP can make that healing more predictable. In the case of mild arthritis, PRP could potentially delay further degeneration. However, in advanced arthritic degeneration the goal of treatment is to minimize pain and improve function.
How is PRP Created?
Creation of PRP is simple, painless, and conveniently done at an office visit. The entire process of drawing blood to solution preparation only takes approximately 25-30 minutes. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient, just like a routine blood test. Once the blood is drawn it is then placed into a centrifuge. The centrifuge is a machine that spins the blood at high speeds in order to separate the blood into red blood cells and concentrated platelets. Once the blood is separated the red blood cells are discarded, and we are left with concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) which is ready to be injected into the injured site.