PRP is short for Platelet Rich Platelet which is blood plasma that has been enriched with platelets. Platelets are a concentrated source of several different growth factors and other cytokines that stimulate healing of bone and soft tissues. PRP has been used in orthopaedic surgery for many years but is now being used by injection to treat many types of soft tissue injury as well as arthritis of the joints, particularly the knee. It has gained publicity recently with people like Tiger Woods and Patrick Chan having been treated with this technique.
How’s it done? The treatment involves taking some of your own blood, (just like having a blood test). Your blood is then spun in a centrifuge in a special gel which separates the blood products. This allows us to draw off the layer that is rich in platelets. This is then injected in to the area of concern.
What can you treat? This can be used for any type of injury, but the common ones are Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, golfers elbow and shoulder (rotator cuff) injuries. It is also used to treat injuries to the knee including partial tears of the cruciate ligaments, collateral ligaments and even arthritis of the knee.
The procedure is very easy and safe. The injected area can be quite tender or painful for several days after the treatment but is otherwise well tolerated. We still do not have any good long term studies of the effectiveness of this treatment so each person’s response may vary.
At our office, we use Harvest Technologies equipment for the preparation of our product.