Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a non-surgical treatment utilized for a wide range of orthopedic injuries and musculoskeletal pain. PRP is one of several types of Regenerative Injection Therapies (RIT).
Initially described for use in oral and maxillofacial surgery, PRP is a refined product of autologous blood with a platelet concentration higher than that of whole blood. Platelets are essential in the injury response, as they release growth factors that initiate and modulate wound healing. Concentrating the platelets and growth factors to optimal levels improves the signaling and recruitment of your own local progenitor and stem cell niche, which can help improve your chronic pain and function.
The injection approach for PRP is nearly identical to dextrose prolotherapy; the difference is the injected solution.
How PRP Works
PRP is a concentration of platelets and growth factors isolated from your blood. When this is injected back into an injured area, a new healing cascade is initiated, allowing your body a second chance to heal. As the platelets organize in the clot they release a number of biologic molecules that promote wound healing and tissue repair, including the stimulation of local progenitor and stem cells. As a result, new collagen begins to develop. As the collagen matures it begins to shrink causing the tightening and strengthening of the damaged area.
To collect PRP, we collect a small amount of blood, less than the amount given for blood donation. This sample then goes through a rapid spinning process that concentrates the platelets and other beneficial growth factors into a layer that can then be removed from the blood. Once removed from the blood, the PRP portion is injected back into your injured areas which then stimulates the new healing response.
PRP has a safe side effect and complication profile. As with all procedures, your physician will discuss individual risks with you before your appointment.