Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a therapy that utilizes a patient’s own blood to stimulate a healing response within a damaged tissue or joint. This form of therapy takes cutting edge technology and combines it with the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
PRP is made by taking a small sample of the patient’s own blood and spinning the sample in a centrifuge for a few minutes. This process concentrates platelets and white blood cells into what is called a “buffy coat”. This buffy coat is extracted and delivered to the injured area of the patient’s body. Growth factors in the platelets recruit and produce cells necessary for healing. PRP can be used in almost any surgical specialty where tissue or bone has been injured, cut or bruised. Anyone, from professional athletes to those who enjoy recreational activities or those whose wounds are difficult to heal, can benefit from the healing effects of PRP.
Patients may want to consider PRP therapy if they have been diagnosed with arthritis or an injury to a tendon or ligament. The injury may be either recent or chronic. Common injuries include: tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, bursitis, rotator cuff tears, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and any ligament strain or sprain.
PRP offers alternative treatment for those who do not wish to have surgery at this time. While other treatments (such as cortisone injections) provide temporary relief, PRP therapy is designed to promote long term healing of the injury. An evaluation will help to determine if PRP is a treatment option for the patient.
Patients usually begin a rehabilitation program following treatment to further promote healing. PRP therapy can accelerate healing of acute injuries but chronic problems may require a longer recovery period.