Platelet Rich Plasma Injection

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is blood plasma that has been extracted and treated to concentrate the number of platelets in your blood. With PRP, the concentration of platelets, as well as growth factors, increases to 5-10 times richer than usual. PRP is a safe way to accelerate healing in patients with arthritis or overuse tendinitis. Platelet Rich Plasma is an effective alternative to physical therapy, medications or surgery for various problems. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, tennis star, Rafael Nadal, and Golf pro, Tiger Woods, have both been treated with PRP injections. Some athletes have credited these injections with helping them return to their sports quickly.

How Does Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Work?

Treatment consists of the patient getting a Platelet Rich Plasma injection directly into the joint or tendon. This minimal invasive outpatient treatment takes about one hour to perform. It’s generally performed 1-3 times for maximum effectiveness. Blood is mostly made up of liquid known as plasma. Yet, it also has tiny, solid particles such as white cells, red cells and platelets. Your platelets play a very important part in clotting your blood. They also contain hundreds of proteins referred to as growth factors. These proteins are instrumental in healing injuries.

How is Platelet Rich Plasma Prepared?

Here’s how the Platelet Rich Plasma is Prepared:

  1. Patient’s blood is drawn.
  2. Platelets are separated from the white and red blood cells.
  3. Concentration of the platelets is increased during the “centrifugation” process.
  4. Increased platelets concentration combined with the body’s remaining blood through PRP injection.

How Does a Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Take Place?

In order for a Platelet Rich Plasma injection to be effective, the injury site must be treated in one of two fashions:

  1. Patient can receive a Platelet Rich Plasma injection directly to the injured area. A local anesthetic can be used in combination with the PRP injection to ease pain or discomfort.
  2. A Platelet Rich Plasma injection can be used to help with healing after surgery due to injury. A torn heal is a prime example. After such an injury, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon. Treating the injured area with a Platelet Rich Plasma injection during surgery can improve healing.

What Conditions is PRP Effective at Treating?

A number of peer-reviewed studies have shown that PRP is often powerfully effective with healing various injuries. Just how effective it is depends on the area being treated and the patient’s overall health. Whether the injury was caused by an accident or trauma (acute) or has developed over time (chronic) also plays a factor in the effectiveness of Platelet Rich Plasma injections. Some of the conditions that have shown great improvement after being treated using Platelet Rich Plasma injection include:

  • Surgery
  • Fractures
  • Knee Arthritis
  • Acute Ligament and Muscle Injuries
  • Chronic Tendon Injuries

Platelet Rich Plasma injections have been known to beat out the competitive techniques, such as hyaluronic acid in several tests. Other remedies that have shown promise with healing injuries and after surgery include bone marrow stem cell injections and, of course, traditional orthopedic surgery. For more information on Platelet Rich Plasma injection, contact us here at the San Diego Orthopedic Surgery Clinic today.


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