What is PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy)?
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is the term used to describe a technique of regenerative injection therapy that uses one’s own blood nutrients to stimulate growth and healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints and musculoskeletal injuries. PRP is also known as nonsurgical ligament and tendon reconstruction.
PRP is derived from a concentration of platelets taken directly from the patient’s blood. In addition to being critical for blood clotting, platelets and plasma contain growth factors that are essential for healing. Cell ratios in normal blood contain a very small percent of platelets; however, in PRP the concentration is over 90%.
Platelets contain the healing proteins, cytokines and growth factors, which initiate healing. The injections of PRP into an area of injury brings a strong “must heal now” signal to body. Activated platelets signal to distant repair cells, including adult stem cells, to come to the injury site. Repair of the tissue ensues even in very old or chronic injuries.
PRP is often recommended in a series of three or more treatments to stimulate the body to fully repair the integrity of tissue back to a healthy strength. The treatments are recommended 4-6 weeks apart, repeating the repair cycle each time.
PRP is of great benefit to improve adequate blood flow and thereby delivery of nutrients to the joint allowing it to repair by the body’s wisdom. The list of world-class athletes who have turned to PRP continues to grow and includes the likes of Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, David Ortiz, Takashi Saito and Troy Polamalu just to name a few.
Some discomfort and stiffness is expected over the next few days following a treatment. Intense activity should be limited during that time as well however normal activities of daily living can be continued throughout treatment.
Am I candidate?
In general, most patients can benefit from PRP regenerative therapies. Prior to receiving treatments at True You Medical, all patients will undergo a physical exam and history, and if warranted, imaging to discuss the most important treatment course.
What do I do before the treatment?
Most importantly, patients want to discontinue the use of anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs, Corticosteroids, and fish oil) at least 2 weeks prior to the procedure to assure full healing response. Those on aspirin therapy may want to consult their prescribing physician about discontinuing during treatment.
Patients with certain blood disorders, a compromised immune system, or a recent or long history of tobacco or alcohol use, may not have quality platelet amounts.
Further, PRP is given in the hopes of stimulating one’s own immune system, specifically the initial inflammatory process of healing. As such, anti-inflammatory medications should be discontinued in advance of PRP treatment.