Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
What is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?
Platelet rich plasma therapy is a form of regenerative injection treatment (RIT) made from concentrated platelets that are derived from a patient’s own blood. In PRP therapy, a small sample of the patient’s blood is drawn from the forearm and spun at high speed in a centrifuge to separate out and concentrate the platelets.
The desired end result of Platelet rich plasma therapy is the functional repair of an injured tendon, muscle, or joint cartilage, allowing it to bear greater mechanical stress during activity without pain. This therapy is typically used in conjunction with other conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, to heal torn tendons, tendonitis, muscle injuries, arthritis-related pain, and joint injuries. It’s commonly used to heal conditions such as:
- Elbow tendonitis
- Patellar tendonitis
- Rotator cuff tears
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Acute muscle tears
- And more!
How PRP Therapy Heals Injuries
Platelets are one of the main cell lines in our blood, the other two being white and red blood cells manufactured in the bone marrow. After an injury, its platelets form a clot to stop bleeding and release certain growth factors that activate the healing mechanism of the body. Platelets contain alpha granules, which hold cytokines, growth factors, and bioactive proteins essential for tissue repair and healing. All of the chemical messengers contained within platelets appear to exert bioregulatory actions, which affect soft tissue and cartilage repair, inflammation, bone healing, wound healing, and postoperative blood loss. These platelets have also been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties.
PRP is often injected into areas where it is difficult for blood to naturally go, thus promoting soft tissue and bone healing in difficult to heal areas.
What to Expect from Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
A platelet rich plasma injection contains 2 to 14 times the concentration of platelets found in normal blood and it appears that these platelets release protein and other particles that help the body to start a process of self-healing without triggering a clotting response. The procedure can be done in a doctor’s office in 30 to 60 minutes and some athletes have reported being back to their game as quickly as two days after the procedure, although 3 to 10 days of downtime and 6 weeks away from rigorous training is more common.
Patients should keep in mind that all PRP and PRP treatments are not the same. Most PRP authorities agree PRP injection should be guided by ultrasound or x-ray to ensure accurate delivery of the medication.
Talk to Our Doctors Today
If you have any other questions about platelet rich plasma therapy that haven’t been answered here, please reach out to us.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or just trying to get back to your active lifestyle, we want to provide you with the non-surgical orthopedic medicine that will get you back in the game.
- The Center for Sports Medicine
Wilmington Pike, Suite 2000, Glen Mills, PA 19342 1788