PRP injection introduces a treatment that comes from bodily extracts. PRP therapy has proven helpful in the healing process of wounds and tissues. It promotes recovery of injured joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Read on to better understand how beneficial PRP injections are to healing wounds and tissues.
PRP Injection Healing Process
In this article:
- Platelet-Rich Plasma
- How Does PRP Improve Wound Healing?
- PRP | Extreme Platelet Concentration
- What Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Help Heal?
- How Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Improve Wound Healing?
- How Will Dr. Smith Gather My Platelet-Rich Plasma?
- Is PRP Treatment Safe?
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a small amount of plasma extracted from the blood and is enriched with platelet concentration. PRP is formulated by separating plasma from red and white blood cells. It is rich in growth factors and specialized cells called “cytokines” that have demonstrated a tremendous potential in improving the healing of soft tissue from other wounds.
How Does PRP Improve Wound Healing?
PRP is used to promote faster healing of musculoskeletal injuries through concentrated platelet introduction. Platelets are the part of blood that helps the clotting process after injury. Every platelet is also a very concentrated biochemical storehouse that contains the following:
- regulatory molecules
- signaling molecules
- growth-factor molecules
All these molecules are an instrument in the recovery and healing of cells and tissue.
PRP | Extreme Platelet Concentration
To better understand the platelets concentrated in PRP, consider the normal blood component values:
- red blood cells – 93%
- white blood cells – 1%
- platelets – 6%
Plasma-rich platelets contain the following:
- red blood cells – 5%
- white blood cells – 1%
- platelets – 94%
Normal blood contains roughly 150,000 – 200,000 platelets/ml of plasma. PRP contains a dense volume of 1,000,000/ml of plasma.
What Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Help Heal?
Touted for its ability to improve recovery time and healing of ligaments, joints, muscles, and tissue, platelet-rich plasma has recently demonstrated evidence that it can also assist in the healing and recovery of several skin issues:
- leg ulcers (arterial and venous)
- foot ulcers (associated with diabetes)
- skin grafts
- first- and second-degree burns
- cuts and abrasions, including chronic wounds on the heels
- healing from surgical incisions
- treatment of facial wrinkles and rejuvenation of sun damage
- cosmetic treatment and healing of scars
How Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Improve Wound Healing?
PRP releases growth factors into soft tissues. This process provides an increased concentration of platelets that aid in tissue healing and recovery.
Specific growth-factor molecules found in PRP include the following:
- epidermal growth factor (EGF)
- fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2)
- insulin-like growth factor (IGF)
- platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)
- transforming growth-factor-beta TGF-b)
- vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
Each of these specific growth factors aids the healing process by the following:
- attracting undifferentiated stem cells and starting the cell division process
- preventing inflammation by suppressing the release of specific cell proteins improving healing of tissue by attracting white blood cells (sometimes called macrophages) to assist regeneration of cells and improve tissue healing
- promoting the formation of new blood cells and speeding up the healing of tissue (epithelialization)
How Will Dr. Smith Gather My Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Plasma-rich plasma is a 100% analogous process, which means it is created entirely from the patient’s own blood. Here is the process Dr. Smith uses:
- Blood is safely drawn from the patient’s arm.
- The blood is placed in a centrifuge.
- Centrifuging allows Dr. Smith to separate red and white blood cells from the plasma and platelets.
- Blood plasma rich in platelets is separated from the blood.
- One activating agent, such as calcium chloride, is added for platelet activation and for the release of their content before use.
- The super-concentrated PRP is then injected to the wound site, where the healing process starts immediately.
Is PRP Treatment Safe?
Yes, it is. Platelets are the primary agents of the blood-clotting system. The body activates platelets to assist with healing by forming blood clots to prevent blood loss and repair the injury.
Since PRP is an autologous preparation, it requires no special consideration on antibody formation, preventing the risk of graft versus host disease and leading to a better acceptance of patients. Autologously prepared PRP is free from concerns over transmittable diseases, including the following:
- hepatitis B
- hepatitis C
Platelet-rich plasma is immunologically neutral and poses no threat of allergy, hypersensitivity, or foreign-body reactions.
PRP injection is a sensitive process that requires proper execution and the right expertise. When both requirements are met, full recovery from wound or tissue damage can be achieved within a reasonable timeline.
What are your thoughts about PRP injection therapy? Share them in the comments section!
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on December 21, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Any Disease.