Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), also referred to as The PRP Procedure or PRP Shots can help regenerate musculoskeletal system by utilising the growth factors of your own platelets. These growth factors can help promote regeneration of pain-producing tissue.
The PRP procedure involves taking your own blood, concentrating the platelet portion (with a centrifuge), before reintroducing it back into the damaged tissue, cartilage, or spine.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) consists of two components: the plasma which is the liquid element of blood, and platelets, a blood cell which plays an important role in healing.
Platelets are well-known for their clotting abilities and also contain growth factors. These growth factors can trigger cell reproduction and stimulate tissue regeneration and/or healing in the treated area. Platelet-rich plasma is simply blood that contains higher levels of platelets compared to normal.
To create platelet-rich plasma, Practitioners take a blood sample from the patient before separating out the other components of the blood from the platelets (using a centrifuge) and then concentrating them within the plasma.
WHAT IS A
Once platelet-rich plasma has been composed from a patient’s blood sample, the solution is injected into the target site/area.
By increasing the concentration of specific bioproteins or hormones, called growth factors, we can theoretically accelerate the healing process in a specific area.
Although the mechanism behind PRP injections is not completely understood, studies show that the increased concentration of growth factors in platelet-rich plasma may stimulate or speed up the healing process, shortening healing time for injuries, decreasing pain and even encouraging hair growth.
Unfortunately, the research surround PRP has a great deal of conflicting information. This is largely due to the lack of consistency in the PRP procedure followed over the various studies.
A study published in Pain Physician concluded that a variety of factors such as, method of preparation, composition, medical condition of patient, anatomic location of site, and tissue type can modify outcome.
Tendon, Ligament, Muscle & Joint Injuries
PRP injections can potentially treat a wide-range of musculoskeletal injuries and/or conditions. For example, chronic tendon injuries like tennis elbow typically takes a while to heal, so adding PRP injections to a treatment regimen can help to stimulate the healing process, decrease pain and enable a return to activities sooner.
Joint Pain Management
PRP accelerates the healing process and can reduce pain from soft-tissue injuries. PRP has proven to improve function and reduce pain in various soft-tissue and joint conditions such as shoulder pain caused by a rotator cuff tear.
Studies suggest that PRP injections may help treat osteoarthritis pain and stiffness. This is by regulating the joint environment and reducing inflammation. Studies are still in the early stages but research is continuing to grow on the subject.
PRP was first used by clinicians to accelerate the heal process after jaw or plastic surgeries. Now, post-surgical PRP treatments have magnified to support healing muscles, tendons & ligaments, as procedures on these tissues have infamously lengthy recovery times.
Frequently Asked Questions
CAN I HAVE PRP INJECTIONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER PROCEDURES?
Yes, because the treatments use a patient’s own tissues, PRP injections are safe and can be administered alone or used in conjunction with other procedures.
WHEN WILL I NOTICE ANY RESULTS?
Results of PRP treatment are most noticeable after several weeks for joint injections and are not permanent; patients may require additional injections at the direction of their doctor.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS OR SIDE-EFFECTS?
A PRP injection is a low-risk procedure and does not usually cause major side effects. Since the procedure involves a blood draw, you should ensure you are hydrated and have eaten beforehand to prevent feeling lightheaded. After the procedure, you may experience some soreness and bruising at the injection site.
PRP injections are composed of your own cells and plasma, the risk of an allergic reaction is much lower than with other injectable medications such as corticosteroids.
Less common risks of PRP injections include: Bleeding, Tissue damage, Infection, Nerve injuries