FAQ’s on Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
What is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is the focus on combining the natural healing ability of the body with technological assistance to derive an injectable solution for the treatment of musculoskeletal injury. PRP uses a highly concentrated grouping of platelets to initiate the healing process in an area of the body that would otherwise be slow (or unable) to heal tissue on its own. PRP is particularly effective for ligaments, tendons, and joints.
The platelets used in PRP therapy are contained naturally in the plasma of the blood, and are made up almost fully of important growth and healing factors. PRP therapy takes a small sample of a patient’s blood, separates these platelets out, and uses them as an injectable to deliver those important factors to an area of the body that could benefit strongly from them.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy used to treat?
PRP therapy is primarily used to combat the lasting effects of arthritic damage in areas that would typically not be able to heal the damage naturally. While PRP is not able to fully reverse the effects of arthritis, it has been found to be an effective rejuvenation tool for patients who do not wish to have invasive correction. PRP therapy has become the top choice for patients suffering from tendonitis in their elbow, known commonly as tennis or golfers elbow (Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma for chronic tennis elbow, 2014), and is also an effective treatment for damage occurring in the shoulders rotator cuff.
PRP therapy is effective in treating patients with chronic pain related to osteoarthritis in the knee, and has been clinically shown to be an effective alternative treatment to patients who are not responding well to other nonsurgical forms of treatment (The effect of platelet-rich plasma on pain, function, and quality of life of patients with knee osteoarthritis, 2013). PRP can be used for patients who have had ligament damage occur, as the ligaments do not have an adequate natural supply of blood flow and typically have difficulty in healing without outside assistance. The healing and growth factors introduced to the area with a PRP injection can be crucial in providing a full recovery to the area.
How is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy performed?
Performed as a simple outpatient procedure in the comfort of our clinic, PRP therapy is a quick and reliably method of obtaining relief for patients. To begin the process, a small sample of the patient’s blood will be taken and placed into a centrifuge. The centrifuge is used to separate the platelet containing plasma from the rest of the blood, where it will be formed into an concentrated injectable for use in treatment of the patient.
Following a PRP injection, patients can expect to develop a small amount of swelling at the injection site. This is a perfectly normal, and actually ideal, response to the injection. The factors introduced by the platelets are designed to trigger this reaction, as the swelling is the body reacting to the injection by drawing in even more healing and growth factors to the injected area.
How well does Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy work?
There are numerous athletes who can vouch for the effectiveness of PRP therapy, with some of the most prominent names in the sports industry having received this therapy. PRP has been recognized by the World Anti-Doping Agency, alongside the NFL, MLB, and NBA, as a safe and effective tool for athletes to receive following a musculoskeletal injury. For some patients, PRP therapy has been able to return the afflicted joint to levels of health nearly equivalent to the health of the joint prior to injury.