Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and its potential effectiveness in the treatment of injuries has become more popular by its use by many famous athletes, including Tiger Woods and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers. PRP Therapy can be used for various problems such has chronic tendon injuries and sprained knees. Famous athletes have credited PRP Therapy with their being able to return back more quickly to competition.
PRP Therapy includes drawing blood from the patient. This blood is then put in a centrifuge where the platelets in the blood are separated from the other blood cells. A concentration of platelet rich plasma has a high concentration of growth factors. This mixture of PRP and local anesthetic can be injected direction into the injured area.
The Platelets function as a natural reservoir for growth factors that are essential to repair the injured tissues. The growth factors that the platelets secrete stimulate tissue recovery by increasing collagen production, enhancing tendon stem cell proliferation, and tenocyte-related gene and protein expression. The growth factors also stimulate blood flow and cause cartilage to become more firm and strong. PRP activates tenocytes (tendon cells) to proliferate quickly and produce collagen to repair injured tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles.