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PRP: Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy​

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Brad S. Bootstaylor, MD​

PRP: Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy​

Platelet-rich plasma therapy, sometimes called PRP therapy or autologous conditioned plasma (ACP) therapy, attempts to take advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, or even bone.

Although not considered standard practice, a growing number of people are turning to PRP injections to treat joint pain, including osteoarthritis. It is most commonly used for knee osteoarthritis but may be used on other joints as well. This would include the elbow, wrist, shoulder, ankle, and hip. 

Platelets as a component of blood?

Treating Osteoarthritis with PRP When treating osteoarthritis with platelet-rich plasma, a doctor injects PRP directly into the affected joint. The goal is to:
  • reduce pain.
  • improve joint function.
  • possibly slow, halt, or even repair damage to the cartilage.

Platelet-rich plasma is derived from a sample of the patient’s own blood. The therapeutic injections contain plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than is found in normal blood.

What is plasma?
Plasma refers to the liquid component of blood; it is the medium for red and white blood cells and other material traveling in the bloodstream. Plasma is mostly water but also includes proteins, nutrients, glucose, and antibodies, among other components.

How does PRP Benefits?

Ultrasound-guided steroid injection

Doctors who use PRP therapy to treat osteoarthritis suppose that the platelet-rich plasma might:

  • inhibit inflammation and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.
  • stimulate the formation of new cartilage.
  • increase the production of natural lubricating fluid in the joints, thereby easing painful joint friction.
  • contain proteins that alter a patient’s pain receptors and reduce pain sensation. 

PRP solutions can vary because they are made from patients’ blood, and each patient’s blood is a little different. In addition, different physicians have different approaches for formulating and preparing a PRP solution for injection.

Conditions Treated With PRP and/or Regenerative Medicine

KNEE AND ANKLE TENDON AND LIGAMENT INJURIES
PARTIAL ROTATOR CUFF TEARS
PINCHED NERVES
STRAIN AND SPRAIN INJURIES
TENDON RUPTURE
MENISCUS TEAR
DISC HERNIATION
DISC PROTRUSION
MUSCLE TEAR
DEGENERATION OF JOINTS
CARTILAGE LOSS
COLLAGEN LOSS
LOSS OF VOLUME IN THE BREAST
HIP AND SHOULDER ISSUES
MENISCUS AND CARTILAGE TEARS
OSTEOARTHRITIS
ACL TEAR
LIGAMENT TEAR
LABRAL TEAR
NERVE ROOT COMPRESSION
ANNULAR TEAR
NERVE INJURY
DEGENERATION OF DISCS