Similar to Prolotherapy in terms of creating a concentrated healing response, PRP therapy is a promising non-surgical technique where the patient’s own platelets are injected into damaged tissues. This initiates a strong healing response which improves mobility and eliminates pain.
Studies are showing excellent results using platelet rich plasma to heal damaged ligaments, tendons and muscles. Platelets are responsible for attracting white blood cells into injured areas to tidy up damaged or dead cells, which often produce swelling and lead to chronic inflammation and pain known as tendonitis.
This chronic damage, once thought to be active inflammation has since been renamed tendinosis signifying a more degenerative process has occurred. The area is now at a halt with respect to healing while pain and debility continue.
Concentrated amounts of platelets introduced to the injured area not only draw white blood cells in to clean up, they also release growth factors that are directly responsible for tissue regeneration.>/
PRP has been used for years in surgical centers to improve the success of bone grafting, dental surgery and cosmetic surgery. More recently, doctors began to use PRP for athletic injuries to speed healing. The results were so promising that the technique caught on not just for acute injuries but also for chronic pain as well.
All joints, ligaments and tendons are treatable areas whether the problem is acute or chronic.
Conditions such as tennis elbow, chronic low back pain, unstable knees, ACL/MCL tears, pelvis instability, achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tears & AC joint sprains, meniscal tears, osteoarthritis, and neck pain are responding with much promise where other therapies have plateaued or failed.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is concentrated blood plasma containing a very high number of platelets. These platelets release growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. The growth factors increase stem cell production that are vital to repair connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, help bone regeneration, promote the formation of new blood vessels and stimulate the healing process.
The normal concentration of platelets in blood is between 150,000 and 400,000 per micro liter. In PRP, where platelets have been concentrated, the platelet count can exceed 2 million platelets per micro liter. To be considered platelet rich, the count of platelets must be at least 4 times greater than baseline measurements.
How is Platelet Rich Plasma obtained?
Depending on which area is to be treated, 15-60mL of blood will be drawn from the patient. The blood is then spun down to separate the red and white blood cells from the platelets and plasma. The concentrated platelets are then injected into the area that requires healing & regeneration.
Dr. Jamieson & Dr. Eberding are skilled and trained to use the EmCyte PurePRPII extraction system.
What does PRP do?
The PRP process concentrates stem cells, and platelets so that each mL of solution contains 1.5 to 2 million platelets. Because it is so concentrated, PRP acts as a potent tissue growth stimulant, amplifying the natural process of tissue repair and healing. Studies show that PRP induces the production of new collagen by the fibroblasts, bone and cartilage cells at the site of the injection, rebuilding the joint cartilage and strengthening injured ligaments and tendons. This new collagen is naturally incorporated directly into your existing cartilage and ligaments, making them thicker, stronger and more elastic than prior to injury.
How does PRP compare against other injection therapies?
Cortisone shots may temporarily provide pain relief and reduce inflammation, however, studies have shown that cortisone weakens tissue over time. This occurs because cortisone blocks all inflammation, and some inflammation is required for healing.
PRP therapy introduces healing factors that promote healthy inflammation that leads to healing.
Hyaluronic injections are very effective at increasing comfort and range of motion in injured joints. It does not, however, provide a mechanism of regeneration but you then require continuous injections to maintain benefit. PRP is regenerative, which means it causes the body to grow new ligaments, tendons and joint tissues. Ultimately, this healing will last and pain will subside.
Compared to dextrose prolotherapy, clinical experience is demonstrating that using PRP as the regenerative injection method creates a much more profound healing effect and results in increased healing with less treatments required. Prolotherapy is a very effective and useful therapy, however PRP is especially useful when regular prolotherapy has provided positive results, but recovery has not been complete. In these stubborn or advanced cases PRP is often the treatment that will resolve these less responsive or more injured areas.
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