Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy picks up where prolotherapy left off. When dextrose prolotherapy or ozone prolotherapy (prolozone) are ineffective, platelet-rich plasma therapy offers a viable alternative of treatment.
Platelet-rich therapy is used most often in acute and chronic disorders of the peripheral musculoskeletal system. Disorders varying from temporo-madibular joint disorder, to shoulder and elbow problems, to knee and Achilles tendon injuries may respond favorably to injections of PRP. Professional athletes have spearheaded the use of PRP for sports injuries.
More recently, PRP has been used in low back pain and neck pain. The effectiveness of PRP for spinal disorders has not yet been established.
Obtaining platelet-rich plasma is a relatively simple process: patient’s blood is spun in a centrifuge, then red blood cells are removed, leaving a platelet concentrate rich in growth factors that hopefully start a healing process when injected into the affected tissues.
Platelet-rich plasma injections are office procedures. Depending on the age and severity of injury or degeneration, most patients require between 1-4 sessions of injections. In our clinic, we use live radiological and ultrasound guidance for most PRP injections, to ensure the precision of our treatments.
Some of the physicians who perform PRP and stem cell injections have also noticed that the quality of the PRP and stem cells generated by the commercial kits is not that great, and is also very variable, making standardization of treatment very difficult. This also poses a problem with finding out which treatments or combination of treatments work better. So, some of us decided to extract PRP and stem cells without using commercial kits, by having our own methods. This allows us to measure exactly what types of cells we administer each time and in what quantities.
PRP is an exciting modern alternative to steroids and surgery. It promises the dawn of a new age in orthopedics, where the focus is on natural, individualized regenerative therapies for each individual patient.
Find out if you are candidate for platelet-rich plasma therapy.