Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP therapy has been used for nearly two decades to treat degenerative joint disease and promote recovery from soft tissue injury to tendons, muscles and ligaments. By isolating growth-factor-rich platelets from the patient’s blood and injecting this potent plasma into the site of injury, this therapy has shown promise in its ability to catalyze the growth of new tissue and promote healing. The concentration of platelets (and thus growth factors) contained within PRP is 3-8 times that of normal blood.
PRP Therapies have been used with great success in many clinical fields, from oral maxillofacial surgery (dental implants and sinus elevations) to plastic surgery. The use of PRP Therapy in sports medicine and orthopedics continues to increase with the growing body of evidence where PRP promotes the healing of soft tissue injuries.
PRP Aids in Healing
Platelets play an important role in directing and accelerating the wound-healing process by setting off a chain of events governed by signaling proteins. Although this complex process has not yet been fully elucidated, it is understood that secretory platelet proteins — which contain growth factors, cytokines and chemokines — play a key role in the healing process.
Platelets synthesize and release more than 1,100 biologically active proteins, including those that promote tissue regeneration and accelerate the healing process.
Evidence of Safety and Effectiveness
Clinical evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of PRP Therapies is significant and growing. To date, PRP has demonstrated safety and efficacy in randomized, controlled studies (RCT) in numerous applications including: lateral epicondylitis (i.e. tennis elbow); Achilles tendinopathy; and degenerative disc disease. The durability of PRP has also been demonstrated — follow-up of our lumbar disc trial subjects revealed persisting benefits at 2 years.
In an RCT involving the surgical application of PRP, a significant reduction in post-operative pain resulting from arthroscopic rotator cuff repair was noted, along with objective evidence of healing. Published data from case series have demonstrated that PRP is often effective in decreasing symptoms resulting from of a variety of musculoskeletal conditions including chronic refractory patellar tendinopathy, achilles tendon lesions, degenerative cartilage lesions in the knee, chronic patellar tendinitis, osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, and chronic elbow tendinosis.
Conditions Treated with PRP
Platelet-rich plasma injections can be used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions that include:
- Lumbar disc disease
- Degenerative disc disease
- Joint pain from arthritis
- Meniscal/labral tears
- Partial tendon tears
- Ligament sprains or tears
- Nerve inflammation
- Plantar fasciitis
This treatment can also be used in combination with surgery to accelerate the post-operative healing process and reduce the risk of infection.