Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP)?
PRP is plasma (the non- cellular fluid of blood) with a high concentration of platelets and low concentrations of red and white blood cells.
What are the potential benefits of a PRP injection?
In the literature, patients have shown significant improvements in pain and function after PRP treatment for conditions including osteoarthritis and degenerative tendons such as in chronic tennis elbow. Other common areas of injection include the Achilles tendon, rotator cuff, hamstring tendons, and elbow ligaments. Definitive research studies still need to be performed for these specific areas, but many sports medicine physicians are reporting successful outcomes after treating injuries to those areas with PRP.
How does PRP work?
Platelets are best known for their role with blood clotting. However, the alpha-granules of platelets contain large amounts of growth factors, which are proteins known to initiate and assist in the rebuilding and remodeling process of healing tissue. These growth factors include platelet-derived growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and transforming growth factor. Placing a very high concentration of these growth factors near injured areas is thought to accelerate the body’s natural healing response. Additionally, PRP can be formulated to have an apparent anti-inflammatory effect when used in osteoarthritis.
PRP has been in clinical use since the late 1980s for dental, orthopedic, and plastic surgery procedures. Very recently, growing evidence has been published showing promise in treating osteoarthritis and tendon, ligament and muscle injuries.
To learn more, download our informational flyer.