Human blood contains liquid component that is referred as plasma. It also consists of small solid components, blood cells that are characterized as red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The platelets are best known for their clotting capability. However, platelets themselves also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which are important in healing of injuries.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is the plasma with higher concentration of platelets, therefore much higher concentration of growth factors that are typically found in blood.
After blood is drawn from the patient, the platelets are separated from other blood cells by a process called centrifugation. The platelet concentration is greatly increased during the centrifugation and extraction process.
To utilize the regenerative healing capacity of highly concentrated growth factors in PRP, PRP is injected carefully into the injured area. The pain at the area of injection may actually increase for the first week or two, and it may be several weeks before the patient feels a beneficial effect.
Conditions that are currently treated by PRP injection include,
- Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Other acute and chronic tendon and ligament injuries
Other conditions that are undergoing active clinical studies include knee arthritis, lumbar disc annular tear, etc.
The effectiveness of PRP treatment can be influened by several factors,
- The area of injury and treatment
- The over health condition of the patient
- Whether the pain is caused by an acute injury or a chronic degenerative process
The risks Associated with PRP treatment are minimal: probable increased pain at the injection. Serious complications such as infection, tissue damage, nerve injuries are no greater than that of corticosteroid injections. Further more, PRP is obtained from individual patients themselves,therefore lacks the side-effects associated with injected corticosteroid medication.
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