What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Blood is comprised of several parts, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Each of these parts serves an important role. Red blood cells primarily carry oxygen. White blood cells help fight infections. Platelets have their own unique role in clotting blood after injury. Platelets also contain and release proteins, cytokines and other bioactive factors (growth factors, clotting factors, etc.) that initiate and regulate wound healing.
Platelet-rich plasma contains the following growth factors:
- PD-EGF (platelet derived epidermal growth factor)
- PDGF-A, B (platelet-derived growth factor
- TGF-β1 (transforming growth factor)
- IGF-1,2 (insulin-like growth factor)
- VEGF, ECGF (vascular endothelial growth factor, endothelial cell growth factor)
- bFGF (basic fibroblast growth factor)1
These growth factors will initiate cell growth, blood vessel growth and collagen synthesis necessary for healing. When released, these factors send out a signal to other cells in the body to help activate the healing sequence.
The normal platelet count is anywhere between 150,000 µL – 350,000 µL. A batch of platelet-rich plasma may contain at least 1 million µL and 3 to 5 times greater concentration of growth factors. This increase is what gives PRP its punch.
To make PRP, one takes a sample of blood, adds an anti-clotting agent and places it in a centrifuge until the platelets are separated from the other components of blood.
How Does PRP Work?
- Platelet-rich plasma stimulates revascularization, which helps signal the necessary cells that are involved in the healing process.
- It increases growth factors, which are responsible for blood vessel and tissue formation.
- Platelet-rich plasma can turn a chronic condition into an acute condition. Platelet-rich plasma changes the environment by bringing the necessary healing cells.
- Tendon pathology (especially of the Achilles)
- Plantar fasciitis
- Ligamentous injury
- Bone augmentation (fracture repair)
- Wound healing
This is an office-based procedure. It is relatively simple and well tolerated by most patients. A small amount of blood is drawn from a big vein in the forearm (like any other blood laboratory test) and blood is then spun at high speeds in a centrifuge, separating the concentrated platelets from the other components. The process of concentration takes up to 15 minutes. The concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then injected into and around the point of injury. No stitches are necessary since just a needle is used.
The goal of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through healing. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses. You should notice a gradual improvement in your level of pain, discomfort and your joint range of motion.
- It is normal to feel mild soreness at the injection site.
- You will be prescribed pain medications by your doctor if needed.
- You may use cold compresses to alleviate your symptoms.
- You will be instructed to avoid any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Aspirin, Motrin, Aleve, Mobic, Diclofenac, naproxen, and Ibuprofen) for a few days.
- You may resume your normal activities but should avoid any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or exercises for 2-3 days.
How much PRP / Stem cell therapy cost?
Payment will be discussed before the procedure is scheduled. At this time, insurance providers have opted not to pay for this advanced procedures. Therefore, the patient usually pays out-of-pocket.
If you are interested in this new regenerative treatment options to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life, call now to schedule your consultation with our physician today and find out if you are a candidate for PRP and Stem Cell therapy. Your consultation is covered by insurance.
Stem cell Therapy
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have regenerative power and ability to differentiate into different cell types or to replicate themselves. They play an important role in tissue repair. Stem cells can be obtained from different sources such as Bone Marrow, Adipose tissue, Amniotic fluid / Placental tissue matrix. Stem Cells can differentiate into and repair bone, cartilage, muscle, tendon, ligaments, and skin. When stem cells are injected into an area that needs healing, your body responds by accelerating the process of tissue repair, reducing inflammation, and alleviating pain.