Bone and soft tissue injuries heal in many stages. One of the most exciting areas of research in orthopedics and sports medicine involves making the most of the initial healing stages: inflammation and an increase in cells, or cell proliferation. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment is becoming a more popular option for biologically boosting the healing process.
How PRP Therapy Works?
The platelets within your blood, most commonly used for clotting, contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors. These are essential for the healing process within your body any time there is an injury. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentrate of platelet-rich blood proteins derived from whole blood. As a concentrated source of plasma, it contains several different growth factors that can promote healing.
What To Expect During Treatment
During PRP therapy, blood is drawn from the patient and then the platelets are separated from the rest of the blood cells by a process called centrifuge. During this process, the platelet concentration grows exponentially as it is spun and separated. It is then put back into the patient’s own blood supply, precisely delivered to areas of injury by injection, to aid in expedited healing. This is a natural and holistic way to encourage the healing process.
Benefits Of PRP Therapy
PRP has been researched and used for osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and regenerative medicine. Studies have shown favorable results on degenerative cartilage lesions, symptoms associated with knee and hip osteoarthritis, in the meniscus and ligament repair, and in chronic tendon and muscle injuries. It is minimally invasive, and the likelihood of rejection is low as the solution comes from the patient’s own cells. There is no cross-reactivity, immune reaction, or disease transmission in the use of PRP.
A paper published in 2013 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, found that PRP injections helped to reduce knee osteoarthritis pain compared to saline injections. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0363546512471299
A paper published in 2012 shows the efficacy of PRP for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24286802
Meniscus or Ligament Injuries-
A paper published in 2013 shows the use of PRP in ligament and meniscal healing.
A paper published in 2016 that shows multiple injections of platelet rich plasma reduce pain and functional impairment in a canine model of ACL and meniscal deficiency
Muscle and Tendon Injuries-
A paper published in 2014 that shows efficacy of platelet-rich plasma for chronic tennis elbow. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23825183
A paper published in 2014 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, found that 3 rounds of PRP injections reduced symptoms in those with the knee injury chronic patellar tendinopathy. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0363546513519964
Rotator Cuff Tears
A paper published in 2011 that shows efficacy of platelet rich plasma in arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.