Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP, is produced from your own blood. The platelets are cells in your body that contain nutrients and growth factors. With PRP, a high concentration of platelets can be delivered to an injured tissue or ligament and stimulate the healing cascade. PRP is obtained by taking a small amount of blood from the patient and using a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. The growth factors and nutrients are injected into the injured tissue and new collagen begins to develop.
This collagen becomes stronger and eventually will allow the tendon or ligament to withstand the stresses of everyday use and activity. Some common injuries that can be effectively treated with PRP are tennis elbow, ACL tears, rotator cuff tears, plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome. Usually, significant improvement in symptoms can be seen within 6 weeks and in severe cases, a second injection may be needed. In addition to other conservative treatments, with medications and physical therapy, this may eliminate the need for a more invasive procedure or surgery. PRP would be recommended for any patient with a tendon or ligament injury that has not responded to other conservative measures. The goals of treatment are to eliminate pain and improve quality of life.