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.
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:
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:
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.