Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Really Work?

San Francisco Orthopedic Surgeon Discusses PRP Injection Therapy

Platelet-rich plasma therapy has often been credited with the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. It is a good option apart from surgery and traditional forms of treatment for sports injuries as well as arthritis.

While it may seem to be the case, platelet-rich plasma therapy is nothing foreign. Over the last couple of decades it has been used in bone grafting procedures and wound healing in a number of fields. Cosmetic, neuro, neck, oral, general and orthopedic surgeons can all attest to the fact that PRP indeed helps speed up relief for their patients. This form of therapy has been propelled to the limelight by sports medicine specialists who use it to speed up healing among athletes and sports people.

Autologous blood is made of white cells, red cells, platelets, and plasma. Platelet Rich Plasma has more than the usual levels of platelets. It is prepared from the patient’s own blood before platelets are separated from other cells. These are then taken through a process called centrifugation to increase concentration. This concentrated collection of platelets is then injected into the injured area.

Platelets have many functions. They allow your blood to clot when you are injured.  By clotting, it prevents excessive loss of blood. They also form a protective layer against pathogens thereby creating a good environment for healing. It is also believed that platelets signal proteins that attract macrophages to fight off pathogens.

PRP has a number of growth factors which also encourage bone and soft tissue healing. PRP injections can accelerate healing of slow-healing tendon and soft tissue injuries. PRP can also relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, and provides a better and long lasting response than other types of injections including cortisone or lubricating injections, with no known side effects.

Less invasion, reduced pain, natural process and faster healing are all positive effects of PRP therapy. While there is clear evidence that PRP works, it is best used in conjunction with other types of treatment for all-around results. It is important to note, however, that it doesn’t work for all. Patients have unique injuries for many reasons and it is, therefore, wise to discuss it with an appropriate specialist. Only an experienced physician has the knowledge to know when PRP will be effective and to perform this procedure properly. Consulting the right sports medicine specialist is important.

Contact IASM Today for a Consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht.

There are many unanswered questions about PRP which has led to some misconceptions about it. For more information about platelet-rich plasma therapy and the other treatment options, browse our website at and check out our Patient FAQs, or call our office at 415-923-0944 to schedule an appointment.

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