Platelet Rich Plasma, commonly known as PRP, is a non-operative medical treatment that supports the body in healing injuries of the musculoskeletal system. The concept is that the injection of plasma into damaged tissue helps stimulate the bodies growth of new healthy cells that promote healing. Different from traditional injections offered by orthopedic physicians, PRP is administered as a healing treatment compared to common injection treatments aimed to temporarily dull pain or inflammation. The treatment hasn’t been FDA approved but more and more people are using these injections to aid in the recovery of injuries.
Blood is comprised of liquids and solids. The liquid “plasma” is made of water, proteins and salts with over half of blood being plasma. The solid part of blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are known to help blood clot when suffering from a wound or cut. Platelets are also associated with their ability to help heal muscle, ligaments and tendons. PRP is comprised of an individual’s own blood which has be drawn from the body and spun in a centrifuge which concentrates the platelets to above average amounts from the rest of the blood. The blood is then injected back into the injured area of the body where it’s intended to help stimulate and accelerate the body’s healing.
After PRP is injected, the doctor may recommend resting the affected area. This request is often due to the affected area,s existing injury and not related to the treatment itself. Since PRP is intended to promote healing, it doesn’t work overnight. Most patients start to see signs of improvement in the form of reduced pain and increased function within four to six weeks.
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