Platelet-rich plasma, commonly referred to as PRP, is a non-operative, permanent solution for conditions such as arthritis and ligament/tendon sprains and tears. Utilizing the body’s natural healing process, PRP therapy is a concentration of platelets that are injected into the damaged ligaments, tendons, and joints to promote tissue repair and accelerate healing. Platelets are rich in growth and healing factors which means, on average, an injured individual can get back to a pain-free life in four to six weeks.
The process for PRP therapy starts with a simple blood draw. The sample is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the rest of the components. The extracted PRP is then injected into the target areas, such as the hips or knees. There is little to no downtime associated with this treatment, which is why many individuals are opting for pain management before they consider surgery.
PRP was made popular by professional athletes and weekend warriors through its treatment of season-ending symptoms including swelling, stiffness, inflammation, tenderness, and pain.
Platelet-rich plasma injections are most effective for the following conditions:
Lumbar spine disc pain
Rotator cuff injuries, including partial-thickness
Shoulder pain and instability
Tennis and golfer’s elbow
Hamstring and hip strains
Knee sprains and instability
Patellofemoral syndrome and patellar tendonitis
Ankle sprains
Achilles tendonitis & plantar fasciitis
Knee, hip, and other joint osteoarthritis
Nerve entrapment syndromes, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction and pain
Lumbar and cervical facet dysfunction and pain
Additionally, PRP can be effective for many cases of osteoarthritis by stimulating healing of cartilage and reducing pain and disability. This includes:
Knee arthritis
Hip joint arthritis
Shoulder arthritis
Ankle arthritis
PRF, also known as platelet-rich fibrin, is very similar to PRP. Both of these substances contain a high concentration of platelets that store growth factors and cytokines. The main difference between the two is the fibrin factor in PRF. The fibrin network in PRF is structured in such a way that more cytokines and growth factors can be stored, which allows for greater healing in the area. Cell migration is another factor that comes with PRF, as well as proliferation, so you can expect more efficient wound healing and pain management.
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