Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is the portion of the yellowish-clear portion of the blood that is concentrated with platelets and growth factors that initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. PRP is a new treatment option intended to relieve knee pain, rebuild collagen (the major building block of cartilage, tendons and ligaments) and restore function without the risk of surgery. Platelets naturally begin the healing the healing process in the body. With PRP, this process is intensified as a high concentration of platelets is delivered to speed up healing.
The Platelet Rich Plasma is obtained by drawing some blood from the patient then separating the red and white blood cells to isolate a concentrated amount of platelets. This Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is then injected with a very fine needle into the area that needs the tissue repaired.
PRP therapy relieves pain and restores strength, stability and range of motion without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, or hospital stays and without a prolonged recovery.
The procedure typically takes about one hour, including the blood draw, PRP preparation and injection. Most people return to their jobs or usual activities right after the procedure.
Although each case is considered individually, Dr. Hansen has found that the best results are obtained by giving a series of 10 PRP injection over a per week for 14 weeks: 1 PRP injection per week for 6 weeks, followed by 1 injection every other week for the last 8 weeks. This procedure has a cumulative effect that stimulates tissue repair and enhanced production of new collagen and other organized connective tissue, including ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, to regenerate healthy, stronger and more flexible joints. In addition to PRP, specialized physical therapy using ARP Wave electro-stimulation is recommended after the series of PRP injections to strengthen the associated muscles.
Initial improvement is typically seen within a few weeks, which gradually increases as the healing progresses. The PRP provides almost immediate benefits of cushioning and relief to painful joints. Each PRP session builds on the previous injection providing cumulative benefits that continue to reduce more pain each week while it also increases flexibility. Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP therapy to be extremely effective at relieving pain and restoring function. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair with PRP therapy, confirming the healing process. The need for surgery can be greatly reduced or eliminated by restoring healthy cartilage, ligaments, and tendons before the damage becomes irreversible.
A recent study conducted by researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery found that Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment improved pain and function for patients with knee osteoarthritis, with 73% of patients seeing delays in the progression of the disease. While previous studies have found that patients with osteoarthritis can lose nearly five percent of cartilage per year, this study discovered that a majority of patients had no further cartilage loss following the treatment.
When used for skin rejuvenation, PRP releases growth factors into the skin to expedite the body’s own repair process and stimulate new collagen and elastin. The PRP is applied topically to the skin during a micro-needling procedure. The micro-channels created by micro-needling provide direct pathways to the deeper layers of skin to stimulate connective tissue regeneration and younger looking, healthier skin. Micro-needling with PRP application is an ideal treatment for smoothing fine lines, wrinkles, and scars or even increasing volume and restoring the youthful appearance of your skin.