Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentration of platelets, growth factors and protein created from a small amount of a patient’s whole blood. Blood is made up of red and white blood cells, plasma and platelets. After an injury occurs, platelets in the blood are activated and release healing proteins called growth factors. Platelet rich plasma has a high concentration of the following growth factors, which improve signaling and recruitment of cells to an injury site and optimizes the environment for healing:
- TGF-β increases musculoskeletal connective tissue
- PDGF attracts stem cells for repairing the body
- Epidermal Growth Factors stimulates connective tissue growth
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors stimulate oxygen and nutrient flow
- Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 stimulates oxygen and nutrient flow
The Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) process:
Using a small needle and specialized syringe, a small amount of blood is collected from a patient’s arm. The blood sample then goes through a rapid spinning process (centrifugation) separating and concentrating the platelets and other beneficial growth factors from the sample. The centrifugation process usually takes less than 20 minutes.
Once the plasma is collected, it is injected into the patient’s injury site. The PRP injection takes less than 1 hour. Response to the treatment varies for each patient therefore the number of injections may vary from a single injection up to 3-5 injections.
What type injuries is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) used for?
Common sports injuries that benefit from PRP injections include any ligament strains or sprains, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, bursitis, rotator cuff tears, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and numerous other musculoskeletal injuries. The overall goal of PRP Therapy is to stimulate growth of new tissue for long-term healing.