PRP is Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy. Although an emerging technology and technique in sports medicine, it has been used since the mid-1990’s in dental and oral surgery and to aid in soft tissue recovery following plastic surgery.
Who has used PRP therapy
RP treatment recently gained widespread recognition in the sports world when Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers received PRP therapy prior to winning Super Bowl XLIII. Other high profile athletes include Tiger Woods who received four treatments following knee surgery and pitchers Takashi Saito and Bartolo Colon — both recent examples of PRP success in Major League Baseball.
How is PRP administered?
PRP therapy, which takes approximately twenty minutes to complete, begins with collection of 30 milliliters of the patient’s blood. The blood sample is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components of whole blood. Doctors then inject the concentrated platelets into the site of the injury often using ultrasound guidance for accuracy. Platelets function as a natural reservoir for growth factors that are essential to repair injured tissues. The growth factors that the platelets secrete stimulate tissue recovery by increasing collagen production, enhancing tendon stem cell proliferation, and tenocyte-related gene and protein expression. These growth factors also stimulate blood flow and cause cartilage to become more firm and resilient. PRP activates tenocytes to proliferate quickly and produce collagen to repair injured tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles.
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