What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?

Whether for leisure or competitively, if you have ever played a sport, you know how difficult it can be to get hurt. Whether it's a mild sprain, a bout of tendinitis in your elbow or heel, or even arthritis, both acute and chronic injuries can seriously hamper your enjoyment of the game. Even when your injury seems to be healed, you may face weeks of therapy to get it back to its original strength, and there's no guarantee you won't simply injure it worse the next time you play.

A new technique in the arsenal of Orthopedists and Sports Medicine doctors is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy. While the exact mechanisms of healing are still being studied, it has been found that platelets carry growth factor. The growth factor is what allows your body to heal itself when you have been injured. In PRP, blood is drawn from the patient and spun in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets and plasma from other blood substances. During the process, the quantity of platelets is increased, then all blood components are combined again. The new blood mixture can either be injected into an injured area, or be used during surgery to treat damaged tissues and facilitate growth of new tissue.

So what can PSP Therapy be used to treat? Currently, it is used for the following sports injuries:

  • Chronic tendon injuries, such as tendinitis or 'Tennis Elbow'.
  • Acute injuries of the muscles and ligaments, such as pulls or sprains.
  • Surgery
  • Knee Arthritis
  • Fractures

Note, however, that studies looking at PRP Therapy and its treatment of sports injuries are still ongoing. Most have not shown a clear link between PRP Therapy and improved healing outcomes. While this could mean that any purported benefits are little better than the Placebo effect, it could also simply mean more in-depth studies are necessary. If you're looking for a professional cosmetic surgeon, contact Dr. Gregory C Roche today!