Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP therapy) is the latest IV treatment that professional athletes use in order to heal and return to play. It is non-surgical, with faster healing times and has been showing promising results for many conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendonosis, muscle, ligament and tendon strains, sprains and tears (Rotator Cuff, Patella, ACL etc), that have failed other conservative treatment.
Why does it work?
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing: bone, tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, promote the development of new blood vessels and stimulate the wound healing process.
PRP works by recreating and stimulating the body's natural healing process. In order to benefit from these natural healing proteins, the platelets must first be concentrated. To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and automatically produces the PRP. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors by up to 500%.
When PRP is injected into the damaged area, it stimulates the tendon or ligament, causing mild inflammation that triggers the healing cascade. As a result, new collagen begins to develop. As this collagen matures it begins to shrink causing the tightening and strengthening of the tendons or ligaments of the damaged area.
For the first week after the injection, it is critical to avoid anti-inflammatories. Also, patients are to avoid using ice on the treated area as it will interfere with the healing response.
Patients may be placed into a cam walker or soft cast for 3-4 days, after the injection. Generally, patients may return to normal gym activities in 3-4 weeks after the treatment.
How often can PRP be done?
Typically, after the initial pain care treatment, patients are seen for a follow up in 6-8 weeks. Some patients respond very well after just one treatment. However, typically 1-3 treatments are necessary.
Patients can see a significant improvement in symptoms. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery, as well as the remarkable return of function.