Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is concentrated portion of blood plasma containing more amounts of platelets. The platelets contain growth factors that help in healing of chronic injuries. The PRP treatment involves injection of high concentration of patients’ own platelets into the injured tendon in order to stimulate the body’s healing capacity. The ligaments and tendons have a poor blood supply due to which healing is delayed. Injecting platelets rich in growth factors into these areas hastens the healing process because the growth factors also stimulate the defense cells, (neutrophils, monocytes and fibroblasts) which have a prominent role in repair process, resulting in quicker pain relief and faster recovery.
In this procedure, the blood is withdrawn from your body and centrifuged for about 15 minutes to separate blood plasma (liquid separated on top) and blood products (settled at the bottom). The plasma is taken and kept aside in a sterile injection. This is later injected into the site of injury under sterile conditions and ultrasound guidance. The PRP treatment is accomplished in several treatment sessions and each session may take less than an hour. You may have to wear a splint after the procedure and you may be advised to practice certain physical therapy exercises.
The procedure is considered safe, risk of infection is minimal, offers minimal discomfort and the recovery is quick. However, patients may experience certain complications including pain, bruising, and damage to neighboring structures such as nerves, blood vessels, and infections.