Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is an injection treatment that stimulates the growth of new tissue using blood plasma with concentrated platelets. These platelets contain bioactive proteins which are vital to initiating growth and accelerating tissue repair. This new treatment can help regenerate tendon or ligament tears common with sports injuries and heal arthritic degenerative joints.
To create PRP, the patient's own blood sample is placed in a centrifuge that separates the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet rich plasma is then injected into the damaged area, stimulating the tendon or ligament and significantly facilitating the body's natural tendency to heal itself. A new muscle tissue begins to develop as a result of the injection and as it matures it begins to shrink, tightening and strengthening the tendons and ligaments of the damaged area.
The PRP treatment will heal the muscle tissue with minimal or no scarring, and it alleviates further degeneration as it builds new tissues. Because the patient's own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction. The need for surgery or any kind of long-term medication is reduced greatly with PRP therapy.
PRP injections can provide help for all areas of the body including the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles as well as tendons and ligaments. The treatment will also help patients with injuries such as tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis, ACL tears, shin splints, rotator cuff tears, plantar faciitis and iliotibial band syndrome.
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The treatment has received enhanced media coverage in recent months thanks to New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, who received plasma-rich platelet injections following a recommendation from Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Rodriguez had undergone surgery on his right knee last July (2011) and also had problems with his left shoulder, but was dissatisfied with the recovery process. Bryant's positive experience with the PRP treatment led Rodriguez to travel to Germany and receive the therapy, and as a result he is reported to be 100% ready for the season following the process.