Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
In an effort to find new and innovative treatment methodologies with a minimal side-effect profile, many medical specialties, including Orthopaedics, have turned their focus to Regenerative Medicine and the variety of treatment options that are now available. One of these treatment options is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). PRP is used for a variety of conditions including tendinitis, bursitis, cartilage damage, arthritis, and tendon and ligament tears throughout the body. Until recently, this treatment option was used mainly by high-level athletes such as Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal to help them heal quickly and return to competition. PRP is now becoming a mainstream treatment for common conditions such as hamstring tendinitis, tennis elbow, patellar and quadriceps tendinitis, arthritis of the knees, hip, and shoulders, and bursitis, etc.
What Is PRP?
PRP is plasma with a high concentration of platelets and growth factors, typically 5 to 10 times higher concentration than usual. This elevated concentration provides the area of injection with the components necessary for healing, reduced inflammation, and pain relief.
The PRP Process
The PRP process begins with a blood draw from the patient. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the components and concentrate the platelets. The platelet and plasma mixture is then separated from the other blood components. The platelet and plasma mixture is then injected into the area of concern, typically with anesthetic.
After PRP injection the patient may return to their normal activities but is always advised to let their symptoms guide their activity. Ice applied to the injection site may reduce post-injection discomfort.
Patel, S., Dhillon, M. S., Aggarwal, S., Marwaha, N., & Jain, A. (2013). Treatment With Platelet-Rich Plasma Is More Effective Than Placebo for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Prospective, Double-Blind, Randomized Trial. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(2), 356–364. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546512471299
Raeissadat, S. A., Rayegani, S. M., Hassanabadi, H., Fathi, M., Ghorbani, E., Babaee, M., & Azma, K. (2015). Knee Osteoarthritis Injection Choices: Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP) versus Hyaluronic Acid (A one-year randomized clinical trial). Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders. https://doi.org/10.4137/CMAMD.S17894