Platelet Rich Plasma
It’s difficult to overstate how unique regenerative therapies such as PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma- are. In previous decades many common injuries either required surgery for a full recovery or “stayed broke.” This is ironic because the patient’s problem isn’t a lack of surgery, it’s a lack of proper and complete healing. In many cases, PRP can permanently solve this problem.
Platelet Rich Plasma Uses
- Tendonitis and tendonosis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Muscle strains
- Ankle ligament injuries
- Chronic foot and ankle pain
PRP in Sports Medicine
Platelets aren’t just for clotting, however, and play a central role in the healing process as well. These particles are coated with growth factors and other naturally occurring compounds which initiate and sustain tissue healing. These substances are the chemical messengers of healing—without these signals healing simply will not start.
Platelet Rich Plasma- How it Works
With this background information we can begin to understand how platelet rich plasma works. Your doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse, or phlebologist will first draw enough of the patient’s blood to facilitate the procedure. This amount can vary but usually amounts to no more than 50-100 milliliters (ml). The blood is then spun down in a laboratory centrifuge at high speeds. This causes the blood cells, platelets, and plasma to separate into different layers.
Once all of this is done a highly concentrated mix of plasma containing extremely high levels of platelets can be made. While preparing the mixture, it’s common for physicians to add natural booster compounds such as thrombin, an important clotting factor. Calcium chloride, a form of salt, is also usually included. This is done to stabilize and augment the solution, allowing it to work more quickly.
This concentrate is known as Platelet Rich Plasma. Once prepared, it is immediately injected into injured ligaments, tendons, and cartilage—the tissues joints are made of.
Using PRP, it’s possible to “trick” tissue which is chronically damaged into healing at an accelerated rate. Stubborn injuries such as bone-on-bone arthritis and chronically sprained ankles can now be made to greatly improve, or even heal entirely.