Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been a hot topic in the athletic world over the past several years. High-profile athletes have been making headlines by seeking out this cutting-edge treatment from local and international sports medicine physicians. PRP is not a new treatment. It has been used for years in maxillofacial, plastic and orthopedic surgery as an intra-operative measure to promote healing as well as bone and cartilage growth.
PRP is a treatment commonly used for treating arthritis, tendon injuries, tendinopathy, as well as muscle and other soft tissue injuries. It is also part of an emerging set of treatments that use the body’s own healing properties to promote health in the right patients. These treatments are often categorized as “orthobiologics” or “regenerative treatment/therapy.”
The importance of PRP comes in the form its healing and growth-promoting factors. Normal blood contains plasma and platelets that travel throughout the blood stream and spring into action when injury occurs. Platelets primarily promote blood clotting, tissue repair, healing and remodeling by triggering growth factors and cytokines from within their cells. PRP treatment utilizes a concentration of 3 to 5 times more platelets1 and 1 to 25 times growth factor concentrations2 than normal blood. This concentration is achieved by collecting the patient’s own blood and using varying filters and a centrifuge to generate the platelet rich solution. Based on the method of concentrating the PRP solution, there can be different concentrations of cells and growth factors. The “best” concentration is still under debate in the medical community as clinical studies are in the early stages of providing a definitive answer.
Another potential healing option when you have already tried conservative therapy (physical therapy, NSAIDS, or injections with limited relief) but are not ready for major invasive surgery is an injection of your body’s own fat tissue. This cushions and supports areas of injury or damage as your body heals itself. Fat has 100-500x more reparative cells than other similar tissues in the body. When utilized in orthopedic medicine, this supports the healing environment to help aid in the repair, replacement, reconstruction and support of damaged or injured tissues.
We offer a quick and minimally invasive procedure that may be performed in the clinic/procedure room for our patients that are not ready for major invasive surgery (or do not qualify for major invasive surgery) or it may be used in addition to arthroscopic surgery to optimize surgical recovery.
During this procedure, the physician will make a tiny puncture through your skin and collect a small amount of fat from either your midsection or “love handles”. Next, the collected fat is processed. The tissue is then injected into the treatment site(s) through a small needle and is ideal to facilitate healing in the treatment site.