PRP Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for Joints

Platelet Rich Plasma injections (PRP) are regarded as a revolutionary modality of care in the regenerative medicines. Due to the hazardous, long term complications that surgical interventions may entail, less invasive procedures like PRP are getting extremely popular as a safer alternative than surgery in the optimal management of soft tissue injuries.

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain large reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing for bone, tendon and ligament regeneration. They help to promote development of new blood vessels and help to stimulate the wound healing process.

PRP therapy, which takes approximately twenty minutes to complete, begins with collection of 30 milliliters of the patient’s blood. The blood sample is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components of whole blood. Doctors then inject the concentrated platelets into the site of the injury often using ultrasound guidance for accuracy. Platelets function as a natural reservoir for growth factors that are essential to repair injured tissues. The growth factors that the platelets secrete stimulate tissue recovery by increasing collagen production, enhancing tendon stem cell proliferation, and tenocyte-related gene and protein expression. These growth factors also stimulate blood flow and cause cartilage to become more firm and resilient. PRP activates tenocytes to proliferate quickly and produce collagen to repair injured tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles.

Platelet rich plasma therapy is the re-administration of your own platelets to activate the body’s natural healing process to help in repair and regeneration. High concentrations of platelets also stimulate the release of growth factors that further aid in tissue regeneration.

PRP technique has been in use for over 2 decades, especially in the surgical field where orthopedic surgeons have used PRP to enhance the pace of healing. Various research studies have suggested that utilization of PRP can offer valuable benefits in soft tissue injuries as well as degenerative bone conditions such as spinal disc degeneration or arthritis.

PRP therapy has become extremely popular in the past few years, especially for the management of soft tissue injuries to restore the normal quality of life and performance in professional athletes. For example, 27-year old basketball player, Brandon Roy (the Portland guard) was able to announce his comeback in 2012, just one year after declaring his retirement due to chronic knee discomfort. Before opting for retirement, Roy underwent 6 knee surgeries but to no avail. Then he underwent PRP therapy and it worked wonders.

PRP therapy starts by drawing blood from an athlete, then spinning that blood in a centrifuge until there is a concentration of plasma cells and growth factors. That substance is then injected into the athlete’s injured tissue. In theory, the substance speeds healing and improves the tissues health.

Conditions Treated with Platelet Rich Plasma

Today, the data and statistical evidence on the effectiveness of PRP therapy is still in the early stages, yet a lot of professional athletes and sports personnel consider it superior to surgical alternatives. Based on early clinical medical research done so far, the following injuries and soft tissue conditions respond well to PRP joint therapy:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Injuries to ligaments and muscles
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Acute and chronic tendon problems
  • Joint fractures
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Neck pain
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Morton’s neuroma

Benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Most people believe that Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is still in the experimental stages especially for the management of soft tissue injuries. Here are a few reasons why many professional athletes prefer PRP over surgical interventions or other invasive procedures:

  • Platelet-rich plasma injections are extremely safe and do not affect the endurance, stamina or athletic vigor of patients;
  • The risks of any side-effects or long-term complications are very rare. For example, most patients report only mild side effects like localized pain lasting only a few days, some swelling and injection site stiffness. On the contrary, most surgical interventions are associated with residual disability, chronic stiffness, extensive scarring and tissue fibrosis that may complicate the rehabilitation process.
  • PRP injections are performed with local anesthesia under ultrasound guidance which significantly improves the precision of procedure and quality of results.
  • No long-term rest or rehabilitation is necessary, unlike surgeries that require long period of rehabilitation and post-surgical recovery.
  • Depending upon the initial extent of an injury, the overall process of healing may take a few weeks, and rarely, up to a few months. While most patients do not require more than 1 -2 injections, you should know that complete regeneration of damaged collagen may require multiple sessions. In the early post-therapy period (2-3 weeks after the PRP injection), most patients report remarkable improvement in the severity of symptoms such as pain and discomfort.

If you are looking to restore the anatomical and physiological health of your joints and soft tissue elements, speak to local PRP doctors to see if you are a candidate for Platelet Rich Plasma therapy.

Click on the Platelet Rich Plasma Physicians Below to Learn More:

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David Schechter, M.D.

David Schechter, M.D.

8500 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 705
Beverly Hills, California 90211

Mufaddal M. Gombera, M.D.

Mufaddal M. Gombera, M.D.

7401 S. Main Street
Houston, Texas 77030

Orthopedic & Spine Institute

Orthopedic & Spine Institute

10750 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232

Embody Wellness

Embody Wellness

805 Wales Dr., Suite 2
Folsom, California 95630

Timothy Hipskind, M.D.

Timothy Hipskind, M.D.

8 Ginger Creek Parkway
Glen Carbon, Illinois 62034

Healthy Aging Medical Centers

Healthy Aging Medical Centers

667 Eagle Rock Ave, Suite 2A
West Orange, New Jersey 07052

Osteopathic Healing Hands

Osteopathic Healing Hands

2056 Sul Ross Street
Houston, Texas 77098

Joy Wellness Partners

Joy Wellness Partners

838 G St #201
San Diego, California 92101

Sophia, Beynen, M.D.

Sophia, Beynen, M.D.

2222 Stringtown Rd.
Grove City, Ohio 43123

OptiHealth Institute

OptiHealth Institute

8303 Pulaski Highway
Baltimore, Maryland 21237

Aspen Institute for Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine

Aspen Institute for Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine

225 N. Mill Street
Aspen, Colorado 81611