Platelet rich plasma (abbreviated PRP) is a new treatment used for some orthopedic conditions. 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. Growth factors are chemicals that signal the body to initiate a healing response. By injecting PRP into areas of an injury, the hope is to stimulate and optimize the body’s ability to heal the chronic condition. PRP has been used for years to help with wound healing and to stimulate bone formation in spinal fusion surgery. PRP is now being used in outpatient settings for common conditions such as; Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, tennis elbow, and patellar tendonitis, and lumbar disc tears. It is used to treat degenerative joint disease and aid recovery from soft tissue injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons. Blood is withdrawn from a vein in a patient’s arm and this blood is placed into a centrifuge, a machine that spins at a high speed to separate the different types of blood cells. The physician than extracts the platelet rich portion of blood and it is then injected into and around the point of injury. The patient’s own blood is used; therefore there is no risk of transmissible infection and low risk of allergic reaction. The procedure is performed safely in our medical office. PRP therapy relieves pain without the risks of general anesthesia, surgery, or prolonged hospital stays. Most people can return to their jobs or activities right after the procedure.
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