PRP is short for Platelet-rich Plasma. A liquid concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein derived from whole blood.
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood which carries red and white blood cells as well as platelets around the body.
As we know, red and white blood cells both have an important job, platelets however are slightly more complicated.
A platelet is a disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting. Although it is often referred to as a cell, it’s actually a fragment of large bone marrow.
A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.
Platelets play a key role in the body’s natural healing process. When we hurt ourselves, our brain signals for the platelets to rush to the injured site to clog the bleed and aid the repair.
PRP is known in the medical industry as an injection therapy or treatment.
Using a patient’s own platelets, a series of PRP injections can help accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints.
Releasing a large number of platelets to a site of injury can potentially speed up the healing process, reduce pain and improve function.
Patients report on average more than a 50% improvement in six weeks and up to 100% improvement in twelve weeks.
How do they make PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma is made using the patient’s own blood. One or two tubes are taken, dependant on platelet count and injury and the blood is run through a centrifuge.
The blood cells separate from the platelets. The tube appears to have an oily milk-like substance floating at the top end of the tube. This is a mix of concentrated Platelet Plasma.
Are there risks to PRP?
There is no risk at all due to the use of the patient’s own blood.
The procedure, both withdrawing and injecting can leave the area sore, but this pain should dissipate within a few hours.
How do if I know PRP is a treatment I need?
PRP might be right for you if you have an injury that has not healed, is causing further damage due to swelling or is causing debilitating pain. It also benefits patients with chronic arthritis or impingement.
If you feel PRP would suit you and your condition, why not book in with our Sports Consultant Physician today. We can diagnose and advise on a treatment program if necessary.