Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

What is platelet-rich plasma therapy?

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a treatment used to promote healing of injured joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. It is mostly used in athletes and active individuals who wish to return to their sport or activity quickly. It is considered in healthy individuals who have failed to respond to first line conservative treatments of rest, medication and physical therapy.

What growth and healing factors are present in PRP?

The different types of growth and healing factors include:

  • Platelet derived growth factor
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Interleukin 8
  • Transforming growth factor beta
  • Insulin like growth factor 1, 2
  • Epidermal growth factor

What conditions might benefit from platelet-rich plasma therapy?

Some of the conditions that may benefit from PRP injections include:

  • Chronic tendon injuries such as:
    • Achilles tendonitis
    • Tennis elbow
    • Inflammation of the patellar tendon
  • Ligament and muscle injuries such as:
    • Pulled hamstring muscles
    • Knee sprains
  • Moderate osteoarthritis of the:
    • Shoulder
    • Hip
    • Knee

How is platelet rich plasma obtained?

Platelet-rich plasma is produced by:

  • Drawing blood from the patient’s own body
  • Separating the liquid portion of the blood (plasma) from the solid portion (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc.)
  • Addition of the concentrated platelets to the plasma

How is the PRP injection administered?

The PRP injection can be performed as an outpatient procedure. A local anesthetic is applied at the site and the PRP is injected into the damaged tissue. Occasionally, your doctor may use ultrasound guidance to administer the injection accurately. The number of injections is based on the severity of your condition and response to therapy.

What happens after PRP injections are administered?

The injection of PRP is an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to leave for home immediately after. Following the treatment, you may experience irritation and mild pain for a few days. You will be prescribed pain medication to keep you comfortable during the healing process. As PRP therapy uses the patient’s own blood, the treatment is associated with minimal risk factors or contraindications.