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Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP): A Brief Explanation 2017-08-15T17:08:02+00:00

Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP): A Brief Explanation

PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma and is a new, innovative, and increasingly popular treatment primarily for musculoskeletal and chronic sports injuries. In 2009, NFL players Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward, both of the Pittsburgh Steelers, gave credit to their PRP treatments as the main reason they were able to play in the Super Bowl.

Why Does It Work?

There are many different types of blood cells, and platelets are certainly one of the specialized ones. Human blood is made up 4 different components: plasma, white blood cells, platelets, and red cells. Clot formation is perhaps the most commonly known aspect of platelet’s relationship with blood. This particular platelet function is very important, but don’t forget how incredibly important platelets are to the healing of injuries. Platelets found in human blood, in particular, are chock full of tissue growth components. Joints, tendons, and ligaments that have been damaged can, through injections, receive the natural benefits brought on by platelets. In order to do this, platelets need to be concentrated. In doing this, the human body’s natural process of healing is replicated through stimulation by using platelets. You may have heard of a cortisone (or corticosteroid) injection. This is the proper name for the injection given in conjunction with a PRP treatment.

How Is It Accomplished?

The first thing that takes place during a PRP treatment being hooked up to a centrifuge machine that will draw some of your blood. The machine will separate the RBCs (red blood cells) from your blood which leaves the remaining plasma and platelets more concentrated. This fluid, now made up of only plasma and platelets, is the substance that is used for PRP treatments as they are injected into damaged areas of the body. The entire treatment takes an average of 45 minutes.

How Many Injections Can Be Given?

3 to 4 weeks after the initial treatment is when a patient will typically schedule a return visit to take a look at how much healing progress has been made. Statistics show that many PRP patients receive the desired and expected results after only the initial treatment. Sometimes 2 or even 3 treatments can be given depending on the circumstance, and in those cases, 3-4 weeks between treatments is common.

What Conditions Benefit From PRP?

-Athletic pubalgia and sports hernias
-Joint osteoarthritis, including hip and knee
-Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis
-Ankle sprains
-Various skin treatments, including wrinkle
-Patellar tendinitis and patellofemoral syndrome
-Instability injuries, such as knee sprains and rotator cuff issues
-Hip and hamstring sprains
-Golfer’s and tennis elbow
-Hair loss

What Are The Risks?

Complications associated with PRP treatments are extremely rare. The only real risk involved would be any traditional risks that would normally be associated with inserting a needle into the skin, such as nerve damage, bleeding, or infection, which are rare in their own right. PRP is a very safe treatment overall.

What Are The Success Rates?

Many PRP treatments result in total long-term pain relief for patients, though the exact percentage is a level of improvement at approximately 80 to 85%.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP): A Brief Explanation

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