Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is an advanced form of Prolotherapy in which the patient’s own blood is used as the proliferant solution.
Blood has several components. The liquid part of blood is called plasma. Blood also contains solid components: red cells, white cells, and platelets. Platelets are involved in blood clotting. Platelets contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which play a vital role in the healing of injuries.
The PRP solution: the Patient’s own blood
In PRP, blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is then placed into a centrifuge to separate the blood components. The centrifuge allows us to separate and concentrate the platelets. PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater than usual. This high concentration of growth factors is then injected into the patient’s injured body part, stimulating the body’s own wound healing cascade.
It is believed that the body’s growth factors (found on the platelets) are a much stronger stimulant to the body’s natural wound healing process than the solutions used in standard Prolotherapy. This is why PRP patients need fewer and less frequent treatments (2-4 treatments, every four to eight weeks) than patients receiving standard Prolotherapy (6-8 treatments, initially every two weeks). However, due to the specialized equipment and increased length of time required for each PRP treatment, PRP is considerably more expensive than standard Prolotherapy. Dr. Matson uses PRP to treat joint, ligament, and tendon injuries. (Cosmetic PRP not offered in this office.)