Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a relatively new treatment designed to aid in the healing and regeneration of soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments. It is a promising therapy for treatment of early joint degeneration.
What is PRP?
- Platelets are a component of blood which release growth factors involved in the healing process.
- Classically, PRP is that portion of blood which has a higher platelet concentration, approximately 3 to 5 times greater than the normal values.
- PRP’s natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets directly into the area in need.
How is it obtained?
- The typical process of obtaining PRP involves collection of blood from your vein (how a blood sample is taken in a lab) and then it is processed in a centrifugation machine.
- The method utilizes two centrifugations – initial one separates red blood cells (RBC), while the second centrifugation results in the concentration of platelets.
- The PRP is then injected into and around the point of injury, using X-Ray or Ultrasound guidance.
Conditions it treats
- Shoulder: Rotator cuff injuries, adhesive capsulitis(frozen shoulder), partial ligament tears, arthritis.
- Elbow: Tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow
- Wrist & Hand: deQuervains’s tenosynovitis, ligament sprain, trigger thumb/finger, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hip: avascular necrosis (early), osteoarthritis hip, hamstring and hip sprains
- Knee: Osteoarthritis (mild to moderate), Partial Ligament tears
- Ankle & Heel: Plantar fasciitis, retrocalcaneal bursitis,achilles tendinopathy, ankle ligament injuries, non-healing ulcer
- Back: disc pain, Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain
- It is very simple and easy to use, easily available, uses patient own blood (autologous), potential cost-effective, and considered very safe therapy.
- This therapy uses one’s own blood so no risk of transmissible infections and a low risk of allergic reaction. There are typically no negative side-effects.
- Since PRP causes local inflammation, some patients may experience pain at the injection site for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
Who has undergone this treatment
- Many famous athletes, namely, Alex Rodriguez (Baseball player, New York Yankees), Tiger Woods (American Golfer), Kobe Bryant (Basketball player, LA Lakers) have undergone PRP therapy for ligament and tendon injuries.
When to expect relief
- Healing by PRP is a gradual process, takes about 12-14 weeks for the patient to feel benefit and healing continues for months thereafter. Unlike, steroid injections this does not provide symptom relief but provides long lasting healing of musculoskeletal injuries.