Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Basics of Top PRP in Chicago
One of the most exciting advancements in regenerative medicine is the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for treating orthopedic injuries and chronic pain conditions. PRP injections use the patient’s own blood that is spun to concentrate one’s own growth factors and platelet cells, to then regenerate tissue and structures.
PRP is a concentration of platelet cells taken from your blood, and these platelets have growth factors that may help in the healing process of chronic injuries or pain related symptoms. Growth factors are chemicals that signal the body to initiate a healing response. By injecting PRP into pain related areas, the hope is to stimulate and optimize your body’s ability to heal the painful condition.
Platelet rich plasma injections can be used for the following conditions and has high success rate:
• Knee Injuries
• Shoulder Pain
• Hip and Spine Pain
• Back and Neck Injuries
• Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
• Pelvic Pain and Instability
• Tennis Elbow & Other Elbow Pain
• Ankle Pain Including Sprains
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Patellar Tendonitis (Runner’s Knee)
• Other Painful Conditions
PRP can be injected into the pain related area or a mixture of PRP and local anesthetic can be injected directly into this inflamed tissue. Afterwards, the pain at the area of injection may actually increase for the first week or two, and it may be several weeks before the patient feels a beneficial effect.
The PRP Procedure
Platelet-rich plasma comes from blood. The nurse will draw around 60 milliliters of your blood. The tubes of blood are placed in a laboratory centrifuge and spun into three layers. This process is called blood fractionation. The middle layer of the solution is the platelet-rich plasma. The red blood cells, white blood cells, and other blood components are discarded. The doctor will clean the injection site with an antiseptic, and use an anesthetic to numb the skin and deeper tissues. Depending on where the PRP is to be placed, a needle is guided into the area possibly using fluoroscopy (real-time x-ray).
PRP Efficacy and Success
There are many clinical studies regarding the effectiveness of PRP. The National Football League (NFL), the Major League Baseball Association, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) all have determined that PRP is a reasonable treatment and does not represent a performance enhancing drug. In a randomized controlled trial, PRP was used for chronic tennis elbow. Of the 230 patients in the study, 76% reported success at 12 weeks in the PRP group. The control group received a steroidal injection, which was not as effective. In addition, PRP had an 85% efficacy rate at the 2-year follow-up visit.
In a systematic review of many studies involving PRP in the treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, researchers found the therapy worked well. With over 600 patients involved, the International Knee Documentation Committee scores favored PRP over hyaluronic acid in the treatment of knee arthritis. The researchers concluded that intra-articular PRP injections had beneficial effects in mild-moderate knee arthritis at the 6-month follow-up.
A 2010 review published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine examined PRP as an efficacious treatment for the healing of wounds, particularly chronic diabetic foot ulceration. This treatment is especially promising due to the high safety margins as a result of PRP’s autologous nature. This treatment has replaced previous growth factor treatments, such as recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-BB isomer.
Khoshbin A, Leroux T, Wasserstein D, et al. (2013). The efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in the treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review with quantitative synthesis. Arthroscopy, 29(12), 2037-2048.
Mishra AK, Skrepnik NV, Edwards SG, et al. (2014). Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma for chronic tennis elbow: a double-blind, prospective, multicenter, randomized controlled trial of 230 patients. Am J Sports Med, 42(2), 463-471.