The process of healing happens in several stages. Inflammation, one of the healing phases, has been the subject of a lot of exciting research in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is a fast growing option that can aide in the inflammatory stage.
PRP is obtained from an individual's own blood. As the name suggests, it has a high concentration of platelets, which are a specific type of cell that plays an integral role in blood clotting. Many factors that are that are required for cell healing and are critical for cell recruitment, multiplication, and specialization are contained in these platelets and plasma portion of blood.
To obtain PRP, a blood sample is collected from the patient. The sample is placed in a centrifuge, which separates the blood into its different components. The platelet rich plasma can then be extracted from the sample. It is treated and delivered via ultrasound guided injection to the injured area, typically bone or soft tissue such as a ligament or tendon. Following the injection, exercise is discouraged for a very short period of time.
Ongoing medial studies have shown promising signs regarding the effectiveness of platelet rich plasma treatments. Because the PRP is obtained from a patient's own blood, it is considered a relatively low-risk treatment with the potential to improve or speed up the healing process.