What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a treatment in which a patient’s own platelets are injected into a specific area of the body with the goal of stimulating healing and growth in that area. PRP therapy is a newer treatment option for people suffering from many types of bone and soft tissue injuries.
Platelets are one of the main components of whole blood, along with red and white blood cells and liquid plasma. Platelets are clotting cells that help the body heal from injury. When you get a paper cut, for example, platelets accumulate in the cut and recruit clotting factors, which eventually form a fibrous scab that stops the bleeding. Researchers have found that platelets also release and recruit growth factors that stimulate the damaged area to re-grow and heal. PRP takes advantage of these unique functions of platelets. Theoretically, injecting high concentrations of platelets in damaged areas will allow growth factors to be released, which will help the area heal more quickly.
What does PRP involve?
PRP typically involves a 15-20 minute office procedure. During the visit a blood sample is taken from a patient and centrifuged. This high-speed spinning separates blood into different layers based on weight. The platelets and plasma can are separated from blood cells and are injected into the injured area. Additionally, because PRP works by inciting an initial inflammatory healing response, all anti-inflammatory drugs should be stopped when having PRP injections.
How well does PRP work?
Most studies done on PRP’s effectiveness in humans have been limited in scope and number of participants. While some studies have shown faster healing with PRP other studies have shown no difference with regard to saline placebos. The location and extent of the injury is likely to make a large difference in PRP’s ability to work. However, because the treatment is made from the patient’s own blood, PRP is a very low-risk, outpatient treatment, which has made it gain popularity recently.
If you are interested in seeing if PRP can help you recover from your injury, please call Long Island sports medicine and orthopedic expert Dr. Ackerman at (516) 243-8506 or schedule an appointment online.
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Phone: (516) 243-8506 - Fax: (516) 745-1189
The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician’s judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care, orthopedic surgery and sports medicine decisions. Please call us with any questions.