Benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma has become a proven, non-operative treatment strategy.
Over the course of the last several years, Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, has become a proven, non-operative treatment strategy. It has helped professional athletes, weekend warriors and baby boomers regain pain-free movement by stimulating the regeneration of injured tissues; including ligaments, tendons, muscles and the intra-articular cartilage of joints. Because PRP actually encourages healing of damaged tissue, it presents patients with a long-lasting solution. PRP is not something that wears off over time. There is no other recognized therapy that has shown to accomplish the benefits of PRP as quickly and consistently.
The second major benefit of PRP is that there is minimal risk of making your situation worse, as long as the procedure is performed by a trained, skilled and experienced physician. Research has shown that risks are minimal and benefits are huge.
What exactly is PRP?
PRP is obtained by drawing a small portion of a patient’s blood, the same as a routine blood test is done. This blood is immediately spun down and separated producing a concentration of platelets above normal values. Platelets are the clotting cells of our blood, but they also have great potential in enhancing healing of muscle, tendon, and ligaments.
The body’s first response to tissue injury is to deliver platelets to the area. Platelets initiate repair and attract stem cells and other growth factors to the injury. Injecting these growth factors into damaged ligaments, tendons, and joints stimulate the natural repair process. Growth factors released by platelets recruit reparative cells.
Platelet-derived growth factors are biologically active substances that encourage tissue repair. After platelets are activated at an injury or wound site, the release of these substances influence all aspects of the healing cascade in order to regenerate the damaged tissue. Specifically, PRP enhances the fibroblastic events involved in tissue healing including chemotaxis, cellular proliferation, photosynthesis, reparation, extracellular matrix deposition and the remodeling of tissues. This leads to restored blood flow, new cell growth, and tissue regeneration.
Will PRP treatment help me avoid surgery?
With any treatment option, the outcome and sustained results are highly dependent on the extent of the injury and the individual patient. For example in the case of mild arthritis, PRP could potentially heal the damaged tissue and prevent the development of further degeneration. However, in advanced arthritic degeneration, the goal of the treatment is to minimize pain and improve function. You may still have to have joint replacement surgery in the future, but may be able to postpone it until you are ready.