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- While many high profile athletes have been treated with PRP, its most appropriate and effective uses remain a source of debate and ongoing research.
- Your blood contains a liquid (plasma), different type of cells, and other factors. Platelets are important for clotting blood and scab formation. Platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are important for healing injuries.
- PRP is made by separating out the platelets, along with some plasma, from the rest of your blood and putting them into a concentrated form. The ultimate concentration of platelets can be 5-10 times greater than that of normal blood, hence the term “platelet rich plasma”.
- PRP is then injected around the site of injury with the intention of stimulating and/or speed up a healing response.
- While some doctors use PRP for a wide variety of conditions, mixed results have been reported in the orthopaedic literature. The fact is that we do not yet know the best way to prepare or deliver PRP and we don’t know what conditions it best treats. That being said, some studies have shown PRP effective for
- Chronic tendon injuries such as tennis elbow and jumper’s knee
- Some patients with knee arthritis
- Some throwing athletes with UCL injury (Tommy John ligament)
- There is not adequate evidence to suggest PRP is helpful for acute injuries.
- PRP is rarely covered by insurance, and thus may represent significant out of pocket expense to you. You should check with your insurance carrier before proceeding with such treatment.
- Dr. Taylor does not perform PRP treatments, but will refer you to an appropriate care provider who does if it is the most appropriate treatment strategy.