Platelet Rich Plasma
BACKGROUND ON PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is derived from your own blood, by taking a sample of venous blood, placing it in a special PRP tube, and spinning the blood in a medical centrifuge for about 20 min. This separates your whole blood into components which includes your red blood cells, platelets, and plasma (the non-cellular fluid in blood). The middle layer constitutes PRP, which contains highly concentrated platelets, the cells that normally promote blood clotting. These cells also contain a number of specialized chemicals called growth factors. These include platelet derived growth factor, transforming growth factor beta, and vascular endothelial growth factor.
These factors interact with the local cells 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 an area of injury, with the hope of stimulating a healing response and reducing inflammation in the tissue. To some extent, injection of whole blood will stimulate the same response, but to a much lesser degree.
PRP has been used since 1987 to help promote healing in dental, orthopaedic, 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 muscles. This procedure is gaining world wide media attention as it has been used in professional athletes in attempts to return them to competition as soon as possible.