Defined as the development of bone and soft-tissue replacement materials, by biological and biochemical means, to enhance musculoskeletal healing and mitigate common complications. This emerging branch of medical science gives healthcare providers a number of options for decreasing patients’ symptom and while substantially decreasing recovery time. It can relieve joint pain without surgery. A breakthrough method is one form of orthobiologics which can promote the body’s own musculoskeletal healing tendencies. This procedure has massive potential for alleviating symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis, knee and shoulder disorders, ligament sprains and other injuries and conditions.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a solution that is made by drawing and separating a patient’s own blood. Blood is made of plasma, which is primarily a liquid, as well as white blood cells, and platelets. PRP is made by a process called centrifugation. The platelets are separated from the other blood cells and rejoined with plasma. This process yields a highly concentrated solution.
Platelets are most known for their ability to assist in clotting and their large composition of growth factors. These growth factors are very important in healing of injuries. Therefore, this concentrated solution is able to promote tissue healing in an injured area by being injected back into the patient’s own body.
What to expect with PRP?
When you arrive for the procedure, a vial of blood will be drawn from an accessible vein. It will then be brought to an area to be centrifuged, separated, and re-formed to make a more concentrated solution. Depending if your treatment will occur during surgery or in the clinic will depend on application style. PRP will either be injected by a needle or applied directly to the injury during surgery. Prior to this procedure, you should speak to your physician and insurance to understand your monetary responsibility for this procedure.
Is PRP treatment effective?
Treatment with platelet rich plasma holds great promise. However, the current research is lacking in number to confidently back up the claims made by media and practicing medicine.
Patients may see significant in symptoms; elimination of the need for more traditional treatments such as medications, cortisone injections or surgery; and a dramatic return of function.
What questions should I ask?
- Should I stop taking any of my medications before the procedure?
- How do I care for my injection site after treatment?
- How soon can I go back to my regular physical activity?
- Will my insurance cover PRP?
What are the concerns involving PRP?
Even though the literature has not caught up with the popularity of PRP, the risks associated are minimal. These concerns commonly are referring to increased pain or inflammation after injection. Since PRP is created from a patient’s own blood, it is considered a relatively low-risk treatment that has the potential to improve and speed healing.