PRP is an innovative medical procedure for knee pain, osteoarthritis, and injuries.
What is PRP Therapy?
Platelet Rich Plasma (or PRP) Therapy is an alternative prolotherapy treatment that is derived from the patient’s very own blood! Platelets are produced in the bone marrow and make up only a tiny fraction of a person’s blood volume . When the body is damaged, the platelets are in charge of both clotting the injury while growth factors they release stimulate the regeneration of tissue. The platelets therefore as a repair system for the body, using their unique abilities to return the body to normal as quickly as possible. If you think of the body as a machine, PRP injections are therefore simply providing the body with more power, resources and energy in a concentrated form. Many patients, particularly athletes, are choosing this treatment in the hopes of avoiding invasive procedures such as surgery and dependence on medications.
What is the PRP procedure?
The Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy procedure requires only a few simple steps that can all be accomplished in one visit. First a medical staff member takes a blood sample from the patient, which is typically 50 milliliters. That sample is then inserted into an EmCyte centrifuge, a device that spins and separates the layers of the blood. Once the components of blood are separated, the now super-concentrated platelets can be harvested along with some plasma (the liquid component of the blood) and create the appropriately named platelet rich plasma solution. The effect of “spinning” the blood twice and harvesting these platelets is to produce a solution that has a much higher concentration of the growth factor rich platelets than are found in blood normally, in the range of six to up to ten times greater. This platelet rich plasma (PRP) solution is then injected into the patient’s damaged tissues to stimulate tissue repair. After the procedure is complete the patient may leave and return to their normal routine in as little as a few weeks! This procedure is simple, natural and usually very effective.
Why Choose PRP Therapy?
Platelets exist in abundance throughout the entire circulatory system in most people. The concentrated injection of growth factors these platelets provide allows PRP therapy to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions. Dr. Stavrakos and his team focus on the use of PRP for sports related injuries and musculoskeletal conditions in athletes and non-athletes alike. One of the greatest advantages of platelet rich plasma injections is the ability to potentially avoid surgery altogether. By “tweaking” the body’s natural healing ability, invasive procedures that used to be patients’ only options in the past may no longer be needed, and a shortened injury recovery time can often be achieved. A number of professional athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Hines Ward (who was able to play in Super Bowl XL thanks to PRP Therapy and win the MVP trophy) and many more have vouched for the success of this treatment on their injuries. PRP is not just for athletes, and has been used to successfully treat arthritis, chronic tendonitis (aka tendinosis), ligament and joint cartilage damage, and more. Since this injection consists of the patient’s own blood there is no fear of rejection, toxicity, or disease transfer. Now that more and more doctors and patients understand the benefits of this procedure its popularity as a treatment for musculoskeletal pain has soared.