What Is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?:
Blood is mainly a liquid (called plasma), containing red cells, white cells, and platelets. The platelets, which are best known for blood clotting, also contain bioactive proteins called growth factors, which are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration.
PRP is the concentration of platelets — and, thus, the concentration of growth factors which increase stem cell production to initiate connective tissue healing, bone regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels and stimulate the wound healing process. PRP has been utilized since the 1970’s as part of surgical applications but until recently it has been accepted as an effective non-surgical procedure especially in competitive sports where it is being used effectively to increase the healing time of injured ligaments and tendons.
How Is PRP Prepared?
To prepare a PRP preparation, blood is first drawn from a patient. The platelets are then separated from other blood cells and spun during a process called centrifugation. Then the concentrated platelets are injected back into injured areas of the body, which need repair.
What Are The Potential Benefits
Patients can see a significant improvement in symptoms as well as a remarkable return of function. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery. PRP is a supercharged form of prolotherapy. Results are dependent on the health of the patient, and their regenerative capabilities. For most healthy patients PRP reduces both the time and number of treatments when compared to traditional prolotherapy.
Frequency Of Treatments
While responses to treatment vary, most people will require 3 to 6 sets of injections of PRP. Each set of treatments is spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart. Pain at the area of injection may actually increase for the first week or two, and it may be several weeks before the patient feels a beneficial effect.