What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, injections utilize your blood’s healing properties to help repair damage to muscles, tendons, cartilage and sometimes even bones. For those with orthopedic problems, especially osteoarthritis, PRP injections are administered with the goal of reducing pain, improving joint function and stopping or slowing down the damage that has been done to the affected area.

To start with, let’s define plasma and platelets:

Plasma: The largest component of blood, which comprises 90 percent water along with salts, enzymes and other proteins. Plasma carries the red and white blood cells, platelets, nutrients, hormones, and more throughout the body.

Platelets: Another component of blood, platelets are tiny blood cells that are best known for their ability to form clots and stop bleeding. When a blood vessel is damaged, platelets travel to the damaged area and repair it.

PRP Treatments Popular for Elite Athletes                                             

PRP therapy has been a popular treatment option for athletes, including many celebrity athletes such as Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal. Even though it is still unclear exactly how PRP works, many patients and athletes have benefited from an expedited healing process, allowing them to get back to living life to the fullest faster.

PRP treatments are being studied for many different injuries and conditions, including:

  • Shoulder injuries
  • Elbow injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Tennis or golfer’s elbow
  • Hip injuries
  • Ankle injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knee arthritis
  • Hip arthritis
  • Shoulder arthritis
  • Ankle arthritis

How Does PRP Treatment Work?

The procedure is simple and usually takes around an hour. The patient’s blood is extracted and placed in a centrifuge. The machine spins the blood at high speed, separating the blood into layers of red blood cells, white blood cells and finally plasma with a low concentration of platelets. The treating specialist then injects a highly concentrated sample of platelet-rich plasma into the injury site.

If you’d like more information on how PRP could potentially help your injury, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call the San Francisco Stem Cell Treatment Center at 1-800-318-6006 today.