Platelet rich plasma is a method of concentrating platelets (the body's repairmen for damaged tissue) from a person’s own blood and then injecting it directly into an injured area. The injection causes a natural repair response from the body within the injured tissue, which results in injured tissue being replaced with healthy tissue. These injections are usually preformed in areas like ligaments and tendons, which connect muscles to bones, that have relatively poor blood supply and do not easily heal from the damage caused by sprains, strains, and repetitive motion.
Understanding the treatment
A small amount of blood is taken from the person. The blood is put into a separator system (centrifuge) that rotates at a high rate of speed, allowing the physician to separate red blood cells and plasma from the platelets. The platelet rich portion of the blood, which stores the chemicals responsible for healing, is taken and prepared for injection. Ultrasound may be used to guide the placement of needle at the specific site of injured tissue.
Indications for the procedure
Platelet rich plasma injections are recommended when traditional methods have not provided relief for a tendon and ligament injury. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long term medication or surgery.