Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary procedure that uses components of the body’s own blood cells to stimulate the natural healing process in certain orthopedic conditions.
The body’s first response to any soft tissue injury (ligaments and tendons) is to deliver platelet cells. Filled with healing and growth factors, platelets jump-start the repair process and attract the essential aid of stem cells. PRP therapy’s natural healing process accelerates the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets through a simple injection. It provides effective pain relief and faster healing, and it can eliminate the need for surgery and prolonged recovery.
Tendons, ligaments, and cartilage are vascular structures made up of collagen fibers. When damaged, platelets and other healing factors enter these areas through the blood to repair or create new collagen fibers. A number of factors can inhibit natural healing of these tissues, especially scar tissue from previous injuries or underlying blood flow issues. Anti-inflammatories and other pain medications are unable to solve these problems, leaving the damaged tissue unaddressed and allowing for further deterioration.
For a PRP injection, your doctor will use a specialized centrifuge to spin your blood for separating and concentrating platelets and growth factors. There is no risk of allergic reaction or rejection because only your own blood components are used. When the PRP is prepared, your doctor will then inject the PRP precisely into the injured area between tightly packed collagen fibers. The PRP can even be injected into small tears that may not appear in an MRI. Once injected into the area of injury, the platelets and growth factors are activated and recruit other healing proteins to heal and regenerate tissue.
PRP therapy is showing promising results with:
- Ankle sprains
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
- Chronic plantar fasciitis
- Ligament sprains
- Osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, and spine
- Rotator cuff tears
- Tendonitis (medically referred to as tendinitis)
- Tennis elbow