Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is platelet rich concentrated portion of blood plasma. Blood plasma contains vital growth factors that help in repairing the injured tissue and platelets contain Vitamin K that plays a major role in formation of blood clot. This therapy is used to treat foot and ankle pain, tendon injuries, sports injuries, and others form of injury.
The tendons and ligaments have very poor blood supply and will delay the time of healing. Injection of PRP results in accumulation of excessive amounts of platelets at injured site. Platelets degranulate releasing several growth factors and cytokines which stimulate one or more phases of tissue regeneration.
In this procedure the blood is drawn from your body and centrifuged to separate blood plasma (liquid separated on top) and blood products (settled at the bottom). The plasma is taken and kept aside in a sterile injection. This is later injected in a sterile environment into the site of injury to reduce pain. An ultrasound is done by the physician to find out the actual place of injury. This will form blood clot and help in degranulation of platelets which releases the growth factors to the site of injury. These growth factors associate with other blood cells (monocytes, neutrophils, fibroblasts) which help in the healing the injury.
PRP therapy uses our own blood. Hence the treatment is associated with minimal or no risk factors, or any contraindication. However, it is also used in the formation of bone in cases of fractures which helps in the formation of new bone tissue. It helps in patients being active however is limited to activities like swimming and biking.