PRP is an injection technique whereby an individual’s own blood (or, more specifically, platelet rich plasma) is injected into an injured area to trigger a faster healing response in the tissues.
Platelets are involved in blood clotting post injury, and they also release growth factors which are essential to healing. PRP is blood plasma with an increased concentration of platelets, by up to 5-10x more than normal levels. This creates a potent healing mix, which is then injected into the site of injury.
Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between the concentration of platelets and the amount of proliferation in wound healing, meaning that PRP can potentially speed up the healing process. PRP has been used to treat many high profile athletes; Tiger Woods has been quoted in the press on how PRP helped him recover following ACL surgery on his knee. PRP has been shown to be particularly effective in treating chronic, non-healing tendon injuries. It is also used to treat acute ligament and muscular injury, and post-surgery to accelerate healing.
PRP is not a new procedure. It’s been used successfully for over 20 years in the fields of surgery and dentistry. Similar techniques have been used in TCM for centuries in the form of Self-blood-injection acupuncture.
Conditions treated with PRP:
– Chronic tendon injuries (Achilles tendinopathy, patella tendinopathy and tennis elbow)
– Acute and chronic muscular strains
– Ligament strains and laxity
– Intra-articular injury: OA, cartilage defects, meniscal injury and synovitis
What to expect from treatment:
PRP is a safe procedure and presents little further complications than what may be expected from a prolotherapy injection. The injection technique is identical to Prolotherapy, only the solution injected is different. Patients are typically seen at 4-6 week intervals, and injury dependant, 2-6 sessions may be required to achieve the desired result.