Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Therapy (PRP) is a type of regenerative injection therapy based on the same principle as Prolotherapy, by stimulating an inflammatory response.
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Platelet rich plasma injection in arm

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

PRP injections prompt soft tissue and joint healing by applying concentrated platelets to the injured area. Platelets play an integral role in blood clotting and wound healing, as they are responsible for bringing white blood cells (WBC) to the injured area to clean up the debris of dead and injured cells. This repair of injured tissue begins with the formation of a clot followed by platelet degranulation of the immune system, which releases growth factors that stimulate wound repair through secretory proteins. These bioactive proteins increase stem cell production to initiate connective tissue healing, bone regeneration and repair, promote the development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the tissue healing cascade. Studies have shown that increased platelet concentration increases the level of secretory proteins, enhancing the amount of proliferation involved in the wound healing.

How do you extract PRP?

The process of creating platelet rich plasma begins with an autologous blood collection (20-60 cc of blood taken from the patient), plasma separation through a Platelet Concentrate System (blood centrifugation), and application of the plasma with concentrated platelets and growth factors (injection of the platelet rich plasma into the injured tissue). The only difference between dextrose prolotherapy and PRP injections is the solution that is administered, and the resulting enhanced inflammatory effect with increased self-healing potential of PRP. Through the application of the body’s own concentrated platelets into areas of non-healing injuries, PRP stimulates an inflammatory response characterized by a mass influx of white blood cells and growth factors that act on fibroblasts causing proliferation and accelerating tissue regeneration. Enhanced fibroblastic activity increases tissue-healing processes of chemotaxis, proteosynthesis, reparation, extracellular matrix deposition, and tissue remodeling. Direct injections at the site of injury ensure that this inflammation and tissue regeneration is localized to the area.

Treatment protocols for PRP vary and are individualized to each person, but most people require 2-6 treatment sessions of injections at 4-6-week intervals. Positive development is usually evident after 2 treatments but may occur after the initial treatment as well. The healing process is affected by diet, exercise, smoking, nutritional supplementation, stress, rest/sleep, and physical manipulation. Similar to prolotherapy, the risks of PRP are low and the most common side effects are temporary increases in pain, stiffness and swelling, as well as bleeding or bruising in the area.

What can PRP Treat?

PRP can treat all chronic and acute joint, ligament and tendon injuries including ankles injuries, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, shoulder dislocations, meniscal tears, osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain, neck pain and any other areas of injured connective tissue, joints, tendons or ligaments. Prolotherapy and PRP can be used to treat the same conditions, but PRP is often indicated when the positive effects of regular dextrose prolotherapy have plateaued or are insufficient. Additionally, PRP is sometimes preferred for serious degenerative changes or high-performance athletes when the injury is very severe or complex, as with labral or meniscal tears.

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