PRP Q & A
What is PRP?
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. Both platelets and plasma are components of blood. Plasma is the liquid portion of blood while platelets contain special substances called growth factors that play an important role in healing. PRP is a blood product that contains a higher-than-normal concentration of platelets. When injected into an area that’s been damaged by an injury or disease, PRP can stimulate natural healing processes including the growth of new, healthy tissue to replace the tissue that’s been damaged. Studies have shown more than 90 percent of patients treated with PRP were highly satisfied with their results.
Where does PRP come from?
PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood. A sample of blood is taken from the patient and processed to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood. The platelets are then concentrated and combined with the remaining blood sample before being injected into the site of injury. Ultrasound guidance may be used to ensure the needle is placed properly. Because PRP comes from the patient, there’s no risk of allergic reaction or rejection.
When is PRP therapy used?
PRP therapy can be used to promote healing following a number of injuries and disease processes, including:
- tendonitis, including Achilles tendonitis, golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow
- plantar fasciitis
- spine-related issues
- cartilage damage
- damage due to arthritis or inflammation
- rotator cuff injuries
- ACL and knee tendon problems
PRP can also be used during surgery to speed the initial healing process.
How does PRP work?
The growth factors found in platelets use a special chemical “signaling” process to stimulate healthy tissues near the site of injury, prompting the growth and development of new, healthy tissue. In addition to localized stimulation of healing, PRP also promotes regional “reactions” associated with healing for better and more consistent healing overall. The goal of PRP therapy is to tap into the body’s natural healing ability to avoid the need for more invasive or more aggressive treatments.