Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, therapy is the process of putting a patient’s blood into a centrifuge and separating the platelets from the rest of the blood’s material. These platelets are then given back to the patient in various forms in order to help the skin, increase hair growth or increase healing after injuries.
How is PRP Done?
The process starts by drawing some of the patient’s blood. This procedure is no different than donating blood or having blood drawn by a primary care physician. Once the blood has been taken, it gets spun around in a centrifuge until the blood’s platelets are isolated. These platelets are then gathered and kept in storage.
Why Does PRP Work?
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy works because of how the body reacts to platelets. Platelets are the body’s natural means of healing itself. They can be found in everything from your blood and tissues, to your bones and muscles. When additional platelets are given to areas that are currently in the process of healing, the healing is accelerated.
Does PRP Therapy Hurt?
The act of healing your body through platelets alone doesn’t hurt, but the means to retrieve and give the platelets could result in a bit pain. PRP treatment starts with getting blood drawn, so you may feel some pain because of the needle going into the skin. The same basic process, although in reverse, happens when the platelets are given back to you. There may be some pain, redness or swelling in the injection site, but this pain is temporary and should fade within a couple days.
Who is a Good Candidate for PRP Therapy?
The most successful candidates for PRP treatment are those who have tendon or ligament damage. This includes:
- Tennis elbow
- ACL tears
- Achilles tears
Depending on the severity of the injury, PRP could be used to put off or eliminate the need for surgery. This is a big decision however and should only be made after consulting with a member of our medical team.
How Long Does Therapy Take?
The length of time it takes to complete PRP therapy depends on a couple factors. The first thing that needs to be evaluated is the severity of the initial injury. A partial tear of a muscle will need less therapy and will therefore be completed quicker than therapy needed for a complete tear. A second factor is how well the patient responds to PRP treatment. Some people respond quickly to treatment while others take a bit longer.
In order to find out if PRP is a good option to heal your injury, call and set up a consultation today!