What is PRP?

Regenerative medicine is the process whereby the body is coaxed into recruiting it's own stem cells into action, aided by various mechanisms, to repair injuries, inflammation, and disease.  This is accomplished by various mechanisms. PrP is a process where blood was taken from the patient’s body, and platelets in the blood or hyper concentrated in a biologic centrifuge. We are able to achieve a concentration of platelets about 7 times the normal concentration of platelets in the blood.  These platelets are admixed with a small amount of the patient’s plasma. This is then reinjected into the patient’s body in areas of injury. Most commonly weight bearing, non weight bearing tendons, rotator cuff muscles, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, sacroiliitis, and of course joint injury as well. The current working understanding is that platelets contain alpha granules which are rich in various types of both anti-inflammatory and pro-healing factors.  I mean, think about it for a second, doesn’t make perfect sense that the very cell the body would use to form a scab would also be the same cell that contains healing properties? The answer is of course yes. PRP is relatively expensive, compared with other forms of regenerative therapy, and is generally acknowledged as being the entry level regenerative modality available today. It is also capable of being combined with other forms of regenerative therapy, including amnion allograft stem cells, growth factors, peptides, and more importantly exosomes.  PRP can be manipulated to turn it into a gel known as PrFM, which stands for platelet rich fibrin matrix. PrFM is generally used over PRP when injecting into a joint space or bursa (a little sac of membrane and fluid which acts as a pulley for your tendons in various places) and when this therapy is combined with other forms of regenerative therapy. This is because PrFM tends to act as a “scaffold”, which is highly attractive and draws your body’s own natural stem cells into the area and keeps them there to “bookmark” the damage, and additionally keeps stem cells and exosomes in the joint longer, thus boosting the effectiveness of these other therapies, as well as the effectiveness of the PRP as a stand-alone therapy as well.

 

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Author
Dr Elias Tzanides

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