Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, and Jamal Lewis are just a few of the famous athletes who are known to use platelet rich plasma therapy. Although applications in professional sports have made PRP therapy widely known in the general public, the procedure has been used during oral surgeries for more than two decades.
Have you ever wondered how the platelet rich plasma therapy procedure works? We’ll explain what PRP therapy is while covering some other fun and informative facts about the emerging medical treatment.
What Is PRP Therapy?
Our blood is primarily plasma, which is a clear liquid. The small solid bits within our blood consist of white cells, red cells, and platelets.
That last component is responsible for clotting blood. Platelets contain growth factors that aid in the healing process.
PRP is plasma that is rich in platelets. In fact, it’s far richer (five to ten times) than what is typically found in the blood.
Preparing PRP requires drawing blood from a patient. Doctors use a centrifuge to separate blood cells from the platelets. The concentrated platelets can then be used for medical purposes.
What Does PRP Therapy Treat?
Platelet rich plasma is primarily used to heal injuries. PRP can be injected directly into the injured area.
An injured runner may undergo PRP therapy that involves injecting PRP into the Achilles tendon. The treatment can also address lingering tendinitis.
Sometimes, doctors mix PRP with an anesthetic to provide comfort and healing. Tendons are slower to heal due to the lower levels of blood flow, so it can take several weeks for athletes to notice the benefits of PRP therapy results.
PRP is also used to aid and promote healing after surgery. Oral surgeons commonly coat dental implants with PRP to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection.
When determining whether you are a candidate for the benefits of PRP therapy, your doctor will consider the type of injury or surgery, your overall health, and other factors. PRP therapy costs several hundred dollars for injections.
What Happens During PRP Therapy?
A typical PRP therapy session takes around 20 minutes to complete. Your doctor will draw a small amount of blood. The doctor will then run the blood through a centrifuge.
The PRP is then injected into the injury site. The growth factors found in PRP stimulate blood flow and stem cell proliferation. The healing process is completely natural because PRP uses your body’s own platelets and growth factors to repair damaged tissue.
Learn More About Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet rich plasma therapy is a proven treatment for enhancing and speeding the body’s natural healing process. Whether you are suffering from tendinitis or have an upcoming surgery planned, ask your doctor if you are a candidate for this emerging medical treatment.
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