How does PRP Therapy Work?
To prepare PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and automatically produces the PRP. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 500%.
When PRP is injected into the damaged area it stimulates the tendon or ligament causing mild inflammation that triggers the healing cascade. As a result new collagen begins to develop. As this collagen matures it begins to shrink causing the tightening and strengthening of the tendons or ligaments of the damaged area.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing, bone regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process.
I've heard of Cortisone shots; is this the same?
Studies have shown that cortisone injections may actually weaken tissue. Cortisone shots may provide temporary relief and stop inflammation, but may not provide long term healing. PRP therapy heals and strengthens these tendons and ligaments; thus strengthening and thickening the tissue up to 40% in some cases.
What are the potential benefits?
Patients can see a significant improvement in symptoms. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long term medication or surgery as well as a remarkable return of function.
What can be treated?
PRP injections can be performed in tendons and ligaments all over the body. Sports injuries, arthritic joints, lower back, degenerative disc disease and more specific injuries including tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, ACL tears, shin splints rotator cuff tears plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome may all be effectively treated with PRP.
How many treatments & how often is this therapy?
While responses to treatment vary, most people will require 3 - 6 sets of injections. Each set of treatments is spaced approximately 4 to 6 weeks apart. There is no limit to the number of treatments you can have, the risks and side effects do not change with the number of injections.
Is PRP right for me?
If you have a tendon or ligament injury and traditional methods have not provided relief, then PRP therapy may be the solution. The procedure is less aggressive and less expensive than surgery. It will heal tissue with minimal or no scarring and alleviates further degeneration of the tissues. There will be an initial evaluation with your doctor to see if PRP therapy is right for you.