Platelet Rich Plasma
What is Platelet Rich Plasma? (PRP)
Platelets are an integral part of your blood that contains a high concentration of bioactive proteins, especially growth factors, that initiate a signal conduction cascade, which in turn stimulates your body's natural healing process to repair damaged tissue. Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP treatment is analogous to your body's natural healing process, however much more potent.
What does it do?
The concept of this treatment is that PRP not only stimulates, but also aids the body's natural healing response of damaged tissue. PRP accelerates the process of recruitment of necessary bioactive proteins to the damaged area and causes a signal conduction cascade reaction to allow for the creation and maturation of collagen fibers to strengthen the tendons and ligament of the damaged site.
Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment
This is an "autologous blood therapy" that involves a simple injection and avoids invasive procedures such as surgery to repair damaged tendons or ligaments.
This process involves drawing your blood, centrifuging it to separate the different components and concentrating the platelets and growth factors to result in a 5-10-fold increase. Subsequently, an autologous transplant is performed to administer the higher concentration of bioactive proteins to the damaged tissue area. To insure accuracy of placement, diagnostic ultrasound guidance is employed.
What can Platelet Rich Plasma Treat?
Platelet rich plasma can treat:
- Sport injuries (Just ask superstars like Kobe Bryant, Hines Ward or Tiger Woods to name a few!)
- Arthritic joints
- Degenerative disc disease (Lower back)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- ACL tears
- Rotator cuff tears
- Plantar fasciitis
- Iliotibial band syndrome
PRP treatment is a simple procedure that can be used for a wide array of musculoskeletal disorders and results in little to no downtime for the patient. As medications continue to evolve it is likely that more treatments of the body's own natural healing processes are likely to be administered.
The biggest advantage stem cell injections seem to offer over more invasive arthritis remedies is a quicker, easier recovery. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and most patients are up and moving within 24 hours. Most wear a brace for several weeks but still can get around. Many are even able to do some gentle stationary cycling by the end of the first week. There are also fewer complications.
There is no down time. You may resume normal daily activities immediately after the procedure. You may experience swelling and soreness in the area the bone marrow was removed and in the area the stem cells are injected for a few days. There is usually no need for pain medication, in fact most patients report almost immediate relief of symptoms.