Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

What Are Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
Platelet activation plays a key role in the body's natural healing process. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient's own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems.

How It Works

PRP injections are prepared by taking anywhere from one to a few tubes of the patient’s own blood and running it through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. The activated platelets are then injected directly into the injured or diseased body tissue, releasing growth factors that stimulate and increase the number of reparative cells.

Ultrasound imaging is sometimes used to guide the injection. The photographs below illustrate a PRP injection into a patient’s torn tendon. The ultrasound guidance is shown at left and the injection is shown at right.

What conditions are being treated

Many famous athletes — Tiger Woods, tennis star Rafael Nadal, and several others — have received PRP for various problems, such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. These types of conditions have typically been treated with medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. Some athletes have credited PRP with their being able to return more quickly to competition.

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