Platelet Rich Plasma: What You Need To Know

If you have an injury that involves the joint, you have found how difficult it can be to do every day things at times.  Sometimes medications only provide so much relief until you find it not working anymore. This may be the time to look into platelet rich plasma therapy.  This type of treatment has been used by well-known athletes that want to have a speedy recovery from their injury.  The platelet rich plasma is from your own body so you need not worry about rejection.  You will find with this type of treatment you may heal faster and get back to enjoying life sooner.

What is Platelet Rich Plasma?

The blood is full of different components, one being platelets.  The platelets in our blood are known for facilitating the clotting process when we bleed.  However, they also contain growth factors that are very important to the healing of injured tissue.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is plasma with a high concentration of these platelets, which Platelet Rich Plasma Los Angelesmeans much more growth factor.  To prepare it, blood is drawn from the patient who is getting the PRP.  This blood will be separated so that the platelets will be extracted and concentrated to 5-10 times richer than normal.  Once the platelets are concentrated, they will be added to the remaining blood.

How does PRP heal the injury?

All is known is that the growth factors in the PRP speed up the healing process, but it is not known how it actually works.  PRP is usually injected into the injured area itself.  A mixture of PRP and local anesthetic will go right into the inflamed tissue.  It may also be stitched into torn tissues during a surgical procedure for a torn tendon or similar injury.

The procedure only takes about 30 minutes including withdrawing the blood, prepping it, and injecting the PRP in the injured area.  Orthopedic physicians who specialize in treating chronic sports injuries are well qualified to perform this procedure.

What type of injuries respond well to PRP?

•    Acute Ligament and Muscle Injuries

•    Chronic Tendon Injuries

•    Knee Arthritis

•    Achilles Tendonitis

•    Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

•    Patellar Tendonitis

•    Tennis Elbow

PRP has been used for many years to help with wound healing in surgery.  If you have not found relief from medications or other treatment for your tendon or ligament injury, you may want to try PRP therapy.  It is less expensive than surgery and healing time is shortened.  You can go back to your job and other activities after treatment.  There will be minimal scarring, if any, and it will discourage any further degeneration of your tissues. You may expect to have 1 to 3 sets of injections, depending to your response to the PRP.  If there is a need for more than one, the injections are spaced out 3 to 5 weeks apart.  It will take two to three weeks for significant improvement to be apparent.  Your doctor can evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for PRP therapy.