Platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP) is a novel treatment modality that recently has emerged as a promising tool to treat multiple musculoskeletal conditions. Although autologous blood concentrates have been used for many years for therapeutic purposes,
PRP is gaining popularity in the mainstream media as a result as its remarkable effects on elite sport players. PRP is harvested from patient’s own peripheral blood, centrifuged to obtain a concentrated amount of platelets, placed in a small volume of plasma and readministered to the site of injury. Where tissue is damaged, platelets release a number of bioactive proteins or growth factors (GF) that, in turn, contribute to promote healing and the formation of new tissue.
The rationale for the therapeutic use of PRP is based on the belief that additional platelets will substantially increase the concentration of GF at the injury, improving the natural healing process. It has been reported successful results with PRP when applied to tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, acute muscle and ligament injuries and knee osteoarthritis. However, PRP efficacy remains controversial among many doctors. To date, no significant adverse effects have been reported with PRP.