Injection of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is another Orthobiologic Medicine technique but with this technique you actually inject plasma obtained from you own peripheral blood. The blood obtained is placed in a centrifuge and spined to separate the red cells from the plasma and concentrate the platelets. The characteristic of this plasma rich in platelets is that the platelets contain natural stimulating and nutritive factor that basically stimulate growth in the tissues we inject it into. This modality is used in tendon and ligament tears where there is no retraction of the ends of the torn tendon or ligament. It also used commonly for muscle tears and in painful joints.
It is a very promising technique, but it also has failures like anything else in Medicine. Studies are ongoing and additional research needed is ongoing.
We encourage you to do your research but here are two good article about the use of PRP to treat specific condition.
Platelets play a major role in healing. Yes, they not only help in clotting when you cut yourself, but also they are rich with hundreds of different proteins called growth factors (GF), which play a critical role in the healing of injuries. Growth factors, stored within platelet α-granules, include platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), insulin like growth factor (IGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet derived angiogenic factor (PDAF), and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). In addition to growth factors (GFs), platelets release numerous other substances (e.g., fibronectin, vitronectin, sphingosine 1-phosphate, etc.) that are important in wound healing. Due to all these growth factors, when PRP is injected into the damaged area such as for example a joint, it stimulates the Stem Cells we all have in our body and promotes healing!
Examples of some recipients of this plasma therapy are sports figures such as Kobe Bryant, Bartolo Colon and Tiger Woods just to name a few. The response to this treatment varies. Most patients require two of these treatments and some patients require more. For more severe problems, additional injections of platelet rich plasma (PRP) may be necessary. Some people experience immediate improvement, but most of the time it takes approximately six weeks to respond to these treatments. For maximum improvement it may take six month.
Emcyte Corporation and more recently Xcel Medica have come out with a top of the line system to use for this procedure.