Sports Medicine – Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Blood is made of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. PRP is blood plasma that contains a high level of platelets. Proteins and growth factors in these platelets facilitate this innovative treatment by stimulating the regeneration of damaged or injured tissue. A small sample of the patient’s blood is taken and placed into a centrifuge, a mechanical device that spins at high speed to separate the red blood cells from the platelets. The PRP is isolated and injected directly into the injured tissue. As part of the process, new collagen and vascular tissue will begin to form. The injured tissue will enter a improvement phase and begin to mature.
Watch Dr. Sargent discuss PRP Injections:
What is PRP Therapy?
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is a concentrated mixture of your own blood. When injected, this mixture has been shown to relieve chronic and acute pain by helping to accelerate the healing process of damaged tissue and joints.
Who needs PRP Therapy?
PRP therapy has been shown to be beneficial in treating multiple conditions, including meniscus tears, knee, hip, and ligament sprains, rotator cuff tears, osteoarthritis of the spine, and plantar fasciitis, among others. This treatment has been successfully used in several areas of the body, but only your doctor can determine if the treatment is right for you.
What are the steps in PRP Therapy?
Collection of the Platelets
A sample of the patient's blood is removed and placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the sample until it separates into its basic components: plasma, red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells.
Injection of the PRP Solution
Some of the plasma is removed. The remaining plasma is then mixed with the concentrated platelets. This platelet rich mixture is then injected into the area of injury on the patient.
Reaction of the Body
A natural immune response is stimulated by the release of growth factors by the concentrated platelets. Damaged cells and tissues are prepared for healing by macrophages, which are specialized white blood cells.
Beginning of Healing Process
Damaged tissues are rebuilt and repaired by stem cells and other cells that multiply in an accelerated response to the introduction of the PRP. Because of this, pain is reduced and joint strength and function is improved.
After the Procedure
PRP therapy is an outpatient procedure, so the patient is able to return home that day. Three to four treatments may be required before the injury is fully healed. A full recovery may be made if you adhere to all prescribed rest and physical therapy while the injury heals.