Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is an injectable substance that is derived from the plasma and buffy coat of our blood. It contains platelets and white blood cells which are crucial for the regeneration of injured tissue. Once injected into the tissue, it sends signals to the area to begin the healing process: blood flow increases, growth factors arrive, and new cells begin to prosper.
Platelet Rich Plasma treatments have shown great success in treating injuries and speeding up the healing process. A small amount of blood is taken and centrifuged (spun down) so that the blood can separate into red blood cells, plasma and buffy coat. We extract the buffy coat and then inject it into the area you choose. This procedure takes about 20 minutes and results are palpable about 1-3 weeks after the procedure and last indefinitely. The results are amplified if the procedure is repeated within a recommended time-frame. The best part? This procedure is relatively painless and has a high safety profile with generally, amazing results.
Sometimes, the terms PRP and Prolotherapy are used online interchangeably. However, they are actually slightly different and may have different indications.
PRP and prolotherapy can both be used to treat chronic pain by strengthening and reducing the pain felt by joints, ligaments and tendons. Both are effective in promoting the natural healing process, but by different mechanisms. For this reason, PRP has shown to be more effective in rejuvenating the tissue associated with injury and is better indicated for wear and tear. It is effective in treating structural damage to the knee, elbow, shoulder and lower back. Prolotherapy has been shown to help a variety of tendinopathies in the elbow, shoulders, lower back, knees and feet.
For all injections using PRP, we use the Arthrex Angel system– cutting edge technology that brings you the highest concentration of platelets in every injection. This system uses a three-tier light sensor to separate layers of the blood and concentrate platelet levels up to 18x. This system allows us to be aware of the concentration of platelets that we extract, unlike other systems that do not display platelet concentration levels and only concentrate platelets up to 6x above baseline amounts.