WHAT IS PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP) THERAPY?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections involve withdrawing 20-60 cc of a patient’s own blood. Next, the blood is processed in a special centrifuge, which separates the blood into various components. One of the components, PRP, contains a high concentration of blood platelets, and as a result, a high concentration of Growth Factors. The PRP is then injected.
WHAT IS PLATELET RICH PLASMA?
Platelets are one type of cell found in blood, the other major types being red blood cells and white blood cells. Blood platelets are specialized cells that have many functions, including helping blood clot when you are bleeding, providing a ‘scaffold’ for tissue healing when injured, and stimulating a myriad of ‘growth factors’ that helps an injured body heal itself
Growth factors are compounds that are made by platelets, examples of which include the Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), TGFB (Transforming Growth Factor Beta) and VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor). These compounds are instrumental in attracting other cells that aid healing, stimulating new blood vessel formation helpful in the healing process, and promoting cell reproduction necessary for healing. Processing the blood into platelet rich plasma results in an average 4-5 fold increase in the concentration of these vital growth factors. Thus, when injected into injured tissue, a big ‘hit’ of healing compounds floods the injury, stimulating healing.
WHEN SHOULD PRP THERAPY BE USED?
PRP is used in a variety of problems. Basically, anywhere an injury is slow in healing, or when you may want to speed up healing beyond the averages that most people experience, PRP therapy can be beneficial. Tendon injuries, ligament injuries and cartilage injuries are all potential targets for PRP injections. Conditions like arthritis, plantar fasciitis, muscle tears, ligament tears, rotator cuff tendinopathy and cartilage tears may all respond to PRP therapy.
Speeding up ‘normal’ healing is another powerful part of PRP injections. For instance, any athlete with an upcoming important competition can benefit from PRP injections to speed up healing. An individual with an upcoming active vacation, where an injury may negatively affect the trip, can also benefit, with the hope of healing to the point where the getaway can be actively enjoyed.
HOW LONG HAS PRP THERAPY BEEN USED?
The earliest work with PRP therapy began about 20 years ago, but really has come to the forefront of regenerative medicine recently. In the past, it has been used to speed up surgical healing; now it’s application has expanded to non-surgical situations. In fact, PRP is often used prior to surgical intervention, and can reduce the chances you will need surgery for a nagging injury.
WHY ARE GUIDED PRP INJECTIONS IMPORTANT?
Ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance is needed to ensure accurate needle placement, and RegenerVate clinics have the necessary equipment.
HOW MANY PRP INJECTIONS WILL I NEED?
Sometimes, 1 is enough. Depending on the injury, more may be required, but rarely more than 3.
IS THERE ANY SCIENCE SUPPORTING PRP THERAPY?
For an up to date reference list, visit the US National Library of Congress’ website , devoted entirely to published research on a multitude of topics. In the search window enter ‘platelet rich plasma AND…’. After the word AND, enter the topic you are interested in, such as ‘platelet rich plasma AND Osteoarthritis of the Knee’. This will return the currently published list of articles for your review.
For an up to date listing of international research projects on this topic currently underway, but not yet completed, click here. Enter the same search string, and you will be given an up to date list of all such research projects.
RegenerVate’s PRP therapy is flexible in healing serious conditions such as plantar fasciitis, arthritis, or muscle and ligament tears, as well as smaller injuries that you simply want to heal quickly. Whatever is causing your pain, RegenerVate clinics can help contact us today!