Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet rich plasma is a concentrate from blood that contains approximately three to five times more platelets than the normal concentration of platelets in human blood.
PRP promotes several types of cell activity, including inflammation, proliferation and remodeling, all of which are necessary in wound healing.
How is Platelet Rich Plasma Prepared?
Blood is first drawn from a patient with a syringe using sterile technique and then centrifuged (spun) and separated out into three layers. The bottom layer is made up of red blood cells , the middle layer consists of platelets and white blood cells and the top layer is plasma.
The total volume of platelet rich plasma that is collected is approximately 5 milliliters or one teaspoon. Once it is prepared it is stable for up to eight hours, however once it is "activated" it must be used within ten minutes. The PRP is then delivered directly to the area of injury.
What is PRP Used For?
PRP is highly effective in muscle and tendon injuries in the fields of orthopedics and sports medicine.
It is used for injuries of tendons, muscles and ligaments. Common injuries that can be treated with PRP include
- Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar Fascitis, Patellar Tendonitis
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
Based on the injury and location, several PRP treatments may be needed and may be as frequent as once a week as the full effect of PRP takes up to seven days. Since the platelet rich plasma promotes inflammation, there will be moderate discomfort after the treatment, yet this will subside with time and acetaminophen (Paracetamol) may be used for pain control.