Platent-rich plasma, or PRP, is a biologic method to promote healing damaged tissues.
PRP is derived from your own blood by taking a sample of blood and distilling it in a centrifuge. This separates whole blood into its components, including red blood cells, platents, and plasma (the non-cellular fluid in the blood). The middle layer constitutes PRP, which contains highly concentrated platents, the cells that normally promote blood clotting. These cells also contain a number of specialized chemicals called growth factors. These elements interact with the injured tissue and send signals that initiate a variety of events such as cell division and migration. The basic idea behind PRP injection is to deliver high concentrations of growth factors to the damaged part, with the hope of stimulating a healing response and reducing inflammation in the tissue. PRP has been used since about 1987 to help promote healing in dental, orthopedic, and plastic surgery procedures. Over the past 5 years, PRP has been recognized for its potential in treating both chronic and acute musculoskeletal injuries involving tendons, ligaments, and joints. This procedure is gaining wide media attention as it has been used in professional athletes in attempts to return them to competition as soon as possible.
Current studies show that PRP is most effective in treating chronic tendon injuries affecting the ankle, knee and elbow. It has been proven to help heal conditions such as tennis elbow. It is also helpful for healing joints, ligaments, and intervertebral discs.