Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP), an innovative and increasingly popular cellular treatment in Regenerative Orthopedics, promotes and accelerates the body's natural healing process of soft tissue injuries and osteoarthritis. PRP effectively bridges the gap between medications, which can mask pain but are not curative, and invasive surgeries.
Plasma, the liquid portion of blood, acts primarily as a transport medium for blood cells, nutrients, and metabolic waste products, which contributes to the physiological stability of the body. Platelets are among the many blood cells in plasma that not only play an important role in forming blood clots but also contain growth factors, such as alpha-granules, that are central to the body's healing process.
In PRP, the patient's own blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets and their associated growth factors. Centrifuging then increases the level of platelets from a concentration of 6% to 94%. This concentration of cells is added to the patient's plasma which contains a variety of proteins that are essential to connective tissue healing. Using ultrasound guidance, this preparation is then injected into the damaged area, stimulating release of stem cells that accelerate and enhance new cell growth. Collagen molecules are subsequently deposited on the damaged tissue, resulting in tissue regeneration and restored blood flow.
Because the injected solution is prepared from your own blood using aseptic technique, your body has no risk of rejection or exposure to blood-borne diseases.
PRP: Procedure Snapshot
A small amount of the patient's blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge, separating the blood into its primary components, red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets.
A portion of the plasma combined with the concentrated platelets is then injected through use of ultrasound guidance into and around the injured tissue. Blood cells called macrophages remove the damaged tissue to prepare the injury for healing.
Large quantities of activated platelets are released at the site of injury to initiate an induced inflammatory reaction resulting in a healing cascade. The growth factors contained in the platelets and plasma stimulate blood flow, promote matrix formation of all soft tissue, and restore tendon and ligamentous proteins that may have been previously compromised. Cartilage, ligaments, and tendons heal to become more firm and resilient.
The procedure takes about 1 hour and the patient can return home the same day. Healing from the procedure treatment takes about 1 week. Many patients require 3-4 treatments and healing depends on the severity of the injury and healing tendencies of the individual.
Adverse reactions associated with PRP injections are remote and usually of minor severity-most commonly, injection site pain and infection.
Many professional athletes have used PRP therapy with great success.
Many professional athletes have used PRP therapy with great success, including:
- Tiger Woods - PRP as a follow-up procedure to ACL surgery on his knee.
- Hines Ward - the Super Bowl MVP received PRP therapy on his right knee.
- Stephen Curry - used PRP therapy for a quick return from knee injury.
- Kobe Bryant - traveled to Germany for PRP for irreversible cartilage in his knee that had previously been surgically repaired.
- Alex Rodriguez - five treatments after hip surgery. His trainers were amazed how quickly he was back to baseball.
Conditions treated include:
- Osteoarthritis. Traditional treatment has primarily been to mask the pain with drugs (eg, NSAIDS or cortisone) or other treatments. PRP, however, helps to stimulate the body to regenerate, or re-grow, new cartilage tissue, both reducing further damage and promoting new tissue.
- Ligament and tendon injuries. Damage to these tissues is generally difficult to treat as they have poor blood flow which is apparent from their white color. Muscles, on the other hand, are red because they have a very good blood supply. The lack of adequate blood flow makes ligaments and tendons prone to incomplete healing from injury.
PRP is a good option for treating damage to ligaments and tendons. Not only can it prevent or delay the need for surgery, but it can also allow the patient to return to activity within a shorter period. If the injury is severe enough to require surgery, PRP is a valuable follow-up procedure to enhance healing of both the surgical site itself and surrounding tissue.
- Degenerative joint disease
- Spine arthritis
- Meniscus tears
- Tendon tears
- Hamstring Strains
- Labrum tears
- Ligament sprains, strains, and tears
- Tennis and golfers elbow
- Plantar fasciitis
- SI joint problems
- Tendon pain on thumb side of wrist (De Quervains Tenosynovitis)
All of our biological procedures are performed on the same day with minimal manipulation of blood, bone marrow, or adipose tissue & are therefore compliant with FDA CFR 21 Part 1271, falling under the same surgery exemption in FDA rule in 1271.15 (b).