What is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma has been used for a number of years as a means to help with tissue regeneration and healing. The term refers to blood plasma that contains concentrated platelets.
There are many applications for PRP in use today. PRP is great for treating nagging injuries, such as tendonitis in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles. In some cases, we inject the PRP directly into joints.
Here are just a few of the useful applications for PRP:
- Rotator cuff tendonitis and partial tears
- Tennis Elbow
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis ( heel spurs)
- Patellar Tendonitis of the knee
- Trochanteric tendonitis of the hip
- Muscle tears and strains: hamstrings, calf muscles
What Are Platelets?
Platelets are one of the three major blood cell types, along with red blood cells and white blood cells. These small blood cells possess two major functions: blood clotting and the provision of numerous growth factors that promote tissue healing. When an injury takes place, platelets are the first cells to react: they form a plug to help stop bleeding and then release their contents, which contain compounds that promote the healing process and tissue repair. They even help to activate nearby resident stem cells to aid the process of tissue regeneration.
For a simple injury, the platelets circulating in our blood are sufficient to allow for natural healing. But when injuries are prolonged or healing incomplete, PRP can be very helpful in promoting healing. Essentially, this is a process by which large numbers of platelets are delivered directly to the injury site.
How does one obtain PRP?
PRP is obtained by taking a blood sample from the patient and isolating the platelets through a series of centrifugation steps in which the Red and White blood cells are discarded and the platelets collected and concentrated in a small amount of plasma. The process takes less than an hour.
PRP is then injected directly into the affected body region.