Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), also known as blood injection therapy, is a medical treatment being used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems.
Platelet rich plasma refers to a sample of serum (blood) plasma that has as much as four times the normal amount of platelets. This treatment enhances the body’s natural ability to heal itself and is used to improve healing and shorten recovery time for acute and chronic soft tissue injuries.*
Platelets are part of the blood that circulate around the body ready to help with blood clotting should you have a cut, broken bone, an injury that bleeds internally, or any other type of injury. Besides containing clotting factors, the platelets release growth factors that help start the healing sequence. With a concentrated amount of platelets, larger quantities of these growth factors are released to stimulate a natural healing response. Plasma is the clear portion of the blood in which all the other blood particles such as platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells travel.
The main purpose of platelet-rich plasma injection is to foster healing where it has not otherwise occurred or to speed up healing as in the case of acute injury. Platelets release bioactive proteins that enhance tissue regeneration and healing. For example, studies show that after using PRP for tendon problems, new tendon cells start to develop in the area treated.
Growth factors that help build new blood supply to the area are also increased in number.
This healing response will help restore strength faster than normal.* PRP therapy can be used in any area where a rapid healing response is desired. One great benefit of injections of PRP is that they don’t have the side effects that can occur with steroid injections or long term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); the number one cause of liver and kidney failure in the United States.
Doug M. PRP Therapy Success Story #1
How do I know if I’m a good candidate for a PRP Injection?
You will be evaluated and examined by a medical professional, and you will exhibit some of the following:
- Both acute pain and chronic pain
- Persistent pain despite standard non-operative treatment such as activity modification, physical therapy, and damaging NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)
- Pathological changes seen on diagnostic imaging
- Patient wishes to pursue alternative to surgical treatment
- Tendonopathies, strains, and sprains
People who would not qualify for this process are individuals with a condition called Thrombocytopenia (low platelet levels), anyone with a history of certain types of cancer, and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding will not qualify.
The best way to know for sure is to call today and ask a professional.
PRP-The Healing Process
Most PRP injections can be done on an outpatient basis, usually in the office setting. Treatment with PRP is broken down into two steps: preparing the platelet-rich plasma for injections and then injections into the affected area. First, blood is drawn from your arm and used to create the injected fluid. The blood is placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood fast enough to separate it into layers based on weight. Heavier parts stay on the bottom. Platelets and white blood cells spin out just above the red blood layer. Lighter particles make up the top layer in the test tube. Once your blood is drawn, the sample is prepared right away and you can have the injection as quickly as 20 minutes later. Once the PRP has been prepared, it is injected into the damaged area. You will not be asleep or anesthetized during this process. A numbing agent like Novocain (e.g., lidocaine, Marcaine) is used topically.
Through the use of regenerative medicine techniques, including platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell treatment, our regenerative techniques can be tailored to meet each patient’s needs wherever they are experiencing pain.
Doug M. PRP Therapy Success Story #2 Follow Up Visit
PRP Platelet Rich Plasma Question & Answers
What is a PRP Injection?
Individuals who enjoy being active, as well as professional athletes, often suffer chronic pain when tendons are injured or when arthritis sets in. More and more people who are suffering have discovered the safe, effective, non-surgical procedure of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy. This advanced medical therapy uses platelets and growth factors derived from the individuals own blood to speed recovery and promote healing of the injured tissue.
What Does PRP Stand for in Medical Terms?
Yes, it is. PRP means Platelet Rich Plasma. The fluid that makes up 55% of the body’s blood is call plasma. Plasma contains every component of the blood, including platelets and red and white blood cells. Platelets comprise about 10% of our blood’s cellular components, but are highly concentrated in PRP therapy.
What is Blood Spinning?
Blood spinning in a centrifuge is a primary part of preparing Platelet Rich Plasma. Just before the turn of the 21st century, this technique for developing a serum to use in PRP therapy was developed. The first types of physicians to use PRP therapy were oral and cosmetic surgeons, who recognized the potential of Platelet Rich Plasma to increase and improve the healing process.
Once a small sample of the patient’s blood is extracted from his or her arm, the blood is loaded into a centrifuge. The machine will spin the blood for approximately 6 minutes. The process separates out all the large cells such as red blood cells and white blood cells and what you are left with is a high concentration of platelets and growth factors in plasma.
What is PRP Therapy Used For?
Platelet Rich Plasma is the liquid element of blood (plasma) enhanced with a rich concentration of platelets. When the patient’s own blood platelets are used, they are called autologous platelets. NSI Stem Cell Centers in Florida exclusively uses autologous platelets in all PRP therapy procedures. Being the source of a high concentration of the patient’s platelets, Platelet Rich Plasma contains numerous types of cytokines. Cytokines include proteins, peptides, glycoproteins and growth factors that are produced by specific cells like blood platelets. PRP therapy takes these qualities and dramatically boosts the healing process of soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments and even skin.
What are Plasma Treatments For?
Until recently, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy was known almost exclusively by professional athletes and their doctors. Today, however, PRP treatments are available to everyone. People who enjoy an active lifestyle can fall victim to joint or tendon injury just as professional athletes do. They can develop activity-related arthritis just like the pros, too.
Therapies that include Platelet Rich Plasma treatments offer safe, effective relief without need for surgery. That’s because PRP Therapy uses the patient’s own platelets in the rebuilding of damaged tendons or tissues.
Are There Platelets in Plasma?
Plasma is the fluid that makes of 55% of blood. Circulating within plasma are components like red blood cells, white blood cells, and the platelets that are used in Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy. The plasma itself is a rich composition of vital proteins, like albumin, and electrolytes. Platelet Rich Plasma, then, is a powerful tool in accelerating the body’s natural healing abilities.
Is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Approved by FDA?
It’s a common misconception that the United States Food and Drug Administration oversees medical procedures like Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, when, in fact, the FDA does not regulate medical procedures. However, the FDA does have the authority to approve devices, like centrifuges, for the use of separating blood into its different components in the making of Platelet Rich Plasma. NSI Stem Cell Centers’ processing methods to produce Platelet Rich Plasma for therapy procedures are in full compliance with the FDA.
What Is PRP Injection Therapy?
Since the middle of the 1990’s, physicians have utilized Platelet Rich Plasma treatments for critical procedures like boosting healing for bones damage in spinal injuries. But it has also been used in cosmetic procedures to enhance post-surgical healing, and even enhance the look of our skin. When sports doctors began using PRP Therapy in the treatment of injured athletes, its enormous advantage in speeding the body’s natural healing process came into the mainstream.
What is the Difference Between Blood Plasma and Platelets?
A platelet is a type of cell found within blood plasma. After blood is drawn for Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, it goes through a process of blood spinning. This causes the separation of the blood’s components: plasma, red cells, white cells and platelets. It is the qualities of blood plasma and platelets that make Platelet Rich Plasma treatment so effective.
What is the Function of Platelets in Blood?
A platelet is a cell that resides in the blood and aids the body in the vital function of forming clots. Clots are what stops bleeding. When a blood vessel is damaged, the vessel will send out a signal that’s picked up by platelets. Like EMTs in an ambulance, platelets dash to where the damage has occurred and begin forming a clot to stop bleeding and begin repairing the damaged area.
But platelets do much more than that. Containing hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which are highly significant in the healing of an injury, platelets are an essential part of the body’s repair process. Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is a procedure that uses plasma that has been highly enriched with many more platelets than is typically found in blood.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.