Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for Arthritis

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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for Arthritis

Platelet-rich plasma therapy, often called PRP therapy or autologous conditioned plasma (ACP) therapy, is a procedure that utilizes the blood's natural healing abilities to repair damaged tendons, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and possibly even bone. It can also help rejuvenate both hair follicles and skin.

Relatively new in the United States, people are beginning to use PRP injections to treat a growing list of orthopedic problems, rather successfully. For example, a large number of patients have used PRP to treat their knee osteoarthritis with terrific results, but it is also useful on other joints.

When using PRP to treat osteoarthritis a doctor injects the platelet rich plasma directly into the affected area or joint. The goal of PRP therapy is to:
  • Help alleviate pain
  • Improve mobility to joints
  • Slow, Stop, or even reverse/repair damaged cartilage
  • Improve the quality of a patient’s life

PRP is derived from taking a small sample of the patient's own blood. It’s 100% natural and the body cannot reject or react to it since it’s actually FROM the patient. The resulting PRP injections contain a higher concentration of platelets than is found in the patients’ blood. This increase concentration can then be used for therapeutic injections on the desired joints or areas where injury or pain may be found.

What are platelets? Just like red and white blood cells, platelets are a normal part of our blood. Platelets by themselves don’t have restorative or healing properties; but, they DO secrete components called growth factors and other healing proteins that will regulate the division and repair of cells, stimulate the regeneration of damaged tissue, and increase and promote healing. Platelets will also help in the clotting of blood; an individual who has defective platelets or not enough platelets in their blood will bleed significantly from even a small cut.

What is plasma? Plasma is the term that refers to the liquid portion of blood; it’s the medium that red and white blood cells and other substances will use to traveling in through the body in the blood stream. Plasma is composed mainly of water but also includes substances like protein, nutrients, blood glucose, and antibodies, to name a few.

 PRP injections can vary based on physician technique, condition being treated and other factors. These variation can occur for several reasons, including:
  • Characteristics of the individual patient. The actual composition of the patients’ blood (for example the total number of platelets and other components) can differ from patient to patient.
  • How the blood is processed. The techniques used to gather and prepare the patient's blood sample (ie. centrifuged vs. filtered) may influence the concentration of platelets, growth factors and rbc’s/wbc’s in a therapeutic PRP injection.
  • Additional components included in the PRP. A doctor may enhance PRP with substances like amino acids and vitamins that are believed to help enhance the healing process.

What Does PRP Therapy Do?

Doctors who treat patients using platelet rich plasma therapy for osteoarthritis believe that the PRP may:
  • Impede inflammation and reduce the progression of osteoarthritis
  • Stimulate the growth of new cartilage
  • Proliferate the production of the joints natural lubrication, which will ease pain associated with friction and repetitive use
  • Stimulate the growth of proteins that change a patient's pain receptors and reduce pain

How the production and composition will influence the effectiveness of therapy isn’t completely understood. More research is needed to be conducted, however the results of PRP therapy speak for themselves. Any patients thinking about trying platelet-rich plasma therapy should call us at 561-277-8260 to learn more about the process and procedure. Check us out on the web at


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