PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma Prolotherapy is very useful and effective in cases of severe labral and meniscal (knee) tears, chronic osteoarthritis of the knee and even avascular necrosis of the hip. PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma involves drawing some of your blood and then processing it and using the growth factors in this blood to start the healing and eventual pain relief. Dr. Mahl often uses it when a patient is not responding quite as well as he had hoped with dextrose prolotherapy and/or has a more severe injury. We occasionally use Human Growth Hormone (HGH) or Testosterone in very small amounts along with regular Prolotherapy solutions, in knee joints and hip joints and other joints to help with cartilage regeneration.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a regenerative injection therapy designed to stimulate the body’s natural healing. Platelet Rich Plasma is defined as autologous blood with concentrations of platelets above baseline levels which contains at least seven growth factors. In PRP, the concentration of platelets is 94% versus in normal blood where the concentration of platelets is 6%. Platelets contain the growth factors, proteins, cytokines and other biologic factors that initiate and regulate the phases of wound healing. Platelets secrete growth factors such as platelet derived growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor and insulin-like growth factor. Platelets signal adult stem cells and repair cells to come to the injury site. The more platelets present at the injury site, the more repair that can occur. Platelet rich plasma prolotherapy is used for musculoskeletal injuries that require a bit more effect than dextrose prolotherapy or for which dextrose prolotherapy has caused only a partial improvement and additional improvement or complete improvement is desired with a more powerful regenerative technology.
Platelet rich plasma or PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets and other growth factors. Platelets are tiny cells that are critical to healing and to the activation of stem cells. They are the body’s primary source of bioactive tissue growth factors, and stem cells will not function without PRP or some component of it. These signaling factors instruct the body to send stem cells to the area of damage and at the same time cause the stem cells to reproduce and begin repair. By concentrating the platelets drawn from your own blood supply, we can harness the power of platelets to relieve pain and stop inflammation for many musculoskeletal joint injuries and disorders that cause chronic pain. PRP can eliminate or reduce the need for surgery by allowing the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
Depending on the severity and duration of the injury 1-3 injections are recommended with follow-up every 2-4 weeks after the initial injection. Improvement may be seen within a few weeks or as early as 10 days after the initial injection and will gradually increase as the healing progresses. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy confirming the healing process. Besides playing a significant role in the healing process, this procedure relieves pain. Meniscus tear treatment, knee pain treatment and general chronic pain management for shoulders, hips, rotator cuff tears, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, back and neck injuries, just to name a few have been treated with PRP therapy. Many sports figures and elite athletes have been treated with PRP with excellent results. They understand that this nonsurgical treatment relieves pain and promotes permanent healing and averts the need for surgery. PRP treatment is the paradigm for how we treat acute and chronic pain.
As an alternative to surgery and cortisone injections, PRP therapy is less invasive and a relatively inexpensive treatment of pain caused by acute and chronic injuries, as compared to major surgery. PRP is useful in the following conditions:
- Osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip and spine
- ACL injuries (Anterior Cruciate Ligament)
- Pelvic pain and instability
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Ankle sprains and strains
- Chronic lower back pain
- Spinal stenosis
- Tennis elbow
- Rotator cuff tears
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Medial collateral ligament tears
- Acute and chronic tendon problems
- Injuries to ligaments and tendons and muscles
- Lateral colateral ligament tears
- Meniscus tears
Platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) can be used to treat patients of all ages, whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or a person suffering from chronic joint pain, PRP can help relieve your pain symptoms.