What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Blood is composed of many components: red cells, white cells and platelets. Platelets contain proteins called growth factors which stimulate healing by recruiting stem cells and other agents to a particular area of the body. When platelets are concentrated in this manner it’s referred to as platelet rich plasma, or PRP.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) has many uses in medicine. It is commonly used in orthopedics for the regeneration and rapid healing of joints and soft tissues. It also has uses in ophthalmology, facial rejuvenation and hair restoration.*
How does PRP Work?
A large amount of growth factors are released at the site of injury upon injection. These platelets induce an inflammatory response to initiate healing. The platelets are able to restore tendons and ligamentous proteins as well as strengthen cartilage allowing it to become firmer and more resilient.*
Are these Injections Safe?
Platelet injections are safe. Since you are using your body’s own blood components and there are no foreign substances being injected into your body, the injections are considered safe.
However there is some minimal risk involved. During research studies and clinical trials, the only risk noted was that the injection could cause an infection to develop. This is not unique to platelet injections, anytime a person undergoes an injection there is this risk. But because there are no foreign bodies being injected and there is no concern of disease transmission, this therapy is considered to be safe.
Using one’s own body as a healing mechanism is a relatively new concept in the world of medicine, and an exciting one at that. As therapies such as these begin to prove they are beneficial and effective, you will likely see similar therapies develop in other medical areas.