Specialty Procedures
/Regenerative Medicine • Hip • Shoulder • Knee • Foot/Ankle

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

Blood is made up of three distinct biological elements: red cells, white cells, and platelets, which are responsible for creating the clots that heal wounds. In addition to their ability to form healing blood clots, platelets contain many growth factors, which are extremely important during the body’s natural healing process. These growth factors are responsible for the accelerated healing associated with platelet-rich plasma injections.

Some professional athletes have credited platelet-rich plasma therapy with their ability to return to sport more quickly following injury. Many professional athletes have received PRP injections to treat chronic strains and sprains, conditions that previously required prescription medications, physical therapy and, for some, surgical intervention.

Who Needs It

While surgical intervention may be an obvious solution for those suffering with severe orthopaedic injuries, some patients may benefit from a variety of non-surgical treatments, including PRP injections. Even patients with severe arthritis, torn ligaments and/or muscles may be able to avoid surgery with platelet-rich plasma therapy.

In addition to the inherent risks of surgery, these procedures often require months of rehabilitation to regain pre-surgical levels of mobility and strength. Furthermore, surgeries can hasten the onset of degeneration that frequently leads to the development of osteoarthritis. Most patients that receive orthobiologic injections, including platelet rich plasma therapy, experience little downtime after their procedure. Platelet-rich plasma procedures are used to address numerous injuries and conditions, including:

  • Overuse injuries;
  • Joint arthritis;
  • Strains and sprains of the muscles, tendons and ligaments; and
  • Tendonitis and tendonosis.

How Does It Work

Platelet-rich plasma is blood that is prepared in such a way as to increase the concentration of platelets and growth factors within the plasma. This concentration can be 6-10 times higher (or more) than the concentration found in untreated blood. Laboratory studies indicate that healing is accelerated by increasing the concentration of growth factors in an injured area.

During the PRP procedure, ultrasound is used to precisely guide the injection of the patient's platelet-rich plasma into specific areas of the joint, ligament, tendon or soft tissues receiving treatment. Upon injection, the number of growth factors in the treatment area is increased, improving the body’s ability to repair itself, which accelerates the healing process.