Platelet-Rich Plasma or PRP Therapy, uses the platelets in a patient’s own blood to promote healing. PRP therapy is used to treat many orthopedic conditions, including sports injuries, chronic conditions and areas of tissue damage and inflammation.
Platelets are components of the blood which include high concentrations of clotting and growth factors. These are released during the healing process, encouraging growth and the rebuilding of tissue.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
PRP therapy begins with the extraction of blood, typically from the large vein in your elbow. The blood is then spun at high speed in a centrifuge in order to separate the platelets from the red blood cells, white blood cells and plasma. This platelet-rich blood is then injected into the area of injury or damage. Because platelets only live in the body for 7-10 days, multiple sessions may be required, depending upon the severity of the damaged area.
What Conditions Can Be Treated?
PRP therapy is effective for pain relief, including knee, foot and ankle pain as well as should, arm and spine pain. PRP therapy is also used to treat osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, herniated disc and rotator cuff tendonitis or tear.
After the Procedure
PRP therapy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Patients can resume normal activity, but should avoid strenuous activities like exercise or heavy lifting. While there may be pain around the extraction and or injection sites, it is minimal. Anti-inflammatory medications cannot be taken, as they may affect the functioning of the platelets.