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PLATELET RICH PLASMA

WHAT IS IT?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is the blood plasma with a high platelet content. The platelet concentrate includes growth factors which are bioactive proteins and are vital for initiating cell repair.

To develop a PRP solution, blood must first be drawn from the patient. Platelets are separated from other blood cells and their concentration increases during a process called centrifugation.

HOW DOES THE PRP APPLIES?

The PRP can be carefully injected into the injured area. Afterwards, the pain may increase for the first week or two, and it may take several weeks before the patient feels a beneficial effect.

EFFECTIVENESS OF PRP TREATMENT

According to currently reported research studies, PRP is more effective in treating chronic tendon injuries. It can also be used to improve healing after surgery for some injuries. Factors that may influence the effectiveness of PRP treatment are:

  • The area of the body to be treated
  • The general health of the patient
  • If the injury is acute (ex. from a fall) or chronic (from an injury with time of evolution)

Great part of the publicity for PRP therapy has been about treating acute sports injuries, such as ligament and muscle injuries. Many famous athletes like Tiger Woods, a tennis player Rafael Nadal and several others have received PRP for various problems, such as knee injuries and chronic tendon injuries. These types of conditions are usually treated with medications, physical therapy or even surgery. Some athletes have credited the PRP for their quickest return to competition.

The use of PRP for other chronic tendon injuries, such as chronic Achilles tendonitis or inflammation of the knee patellar tendon (jumper's knee) is promising. However, it is difficult to say at this time that PRP is more effective than the traditional treatment of these problems.

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