How does PRP work?
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. In a PRP treatment, you have a blood draw and your own platelets are isolated in a centrifuge. The PRP is injected into the injured area resulting in an amplified healing response. This all happens in one session that takes about 30 minutes.
How does PRP “amplify a healing response”?
Platelets are present in your blood plasma to gather and stop bleeding every time you sustain any injury. This is true even of minor cuts. Platelet accumulation signals to your body that you’re hurt and it is time to send stem cells and other cofactors to heal the area.
When we inject multiple CC’s of platelets into your knee for instance, we are putting up to 8x the volume of platelets into the tissue that a normal injury would produce. Because of this, your body mounts a massive healing response as though your leg was just crushed in a machine. We just tricked your body into healing some old injuries you sustained back in your college days. Or maybe it was just tricked into healing some sun dammaged areas on your face. Clever right?
This mechanism is universal for your body tissues. My son just had his wisdom teeth out and to optimize his healing, PRP packs were inserted into the surgery site. Rotator cuff surgeries now often include PRP injections that improve the strength of the repaired tissues. It is even commonly used in medi-spas for the treatment of wrinkles, rejuvenating the skin and regrowing thinning hair!
Here at SMNW we primarily treat conditions of the knees, shoulders, and tendons such as tennis or golfer’s elbow with PRP. However Dr. Procopio has extensive experience with the skin/facial and hair restoration treatments as well.
So the answer to the question “How does PRP work?” is simple: PRP works by tricking the body into thinking that it has been severely injured in the area. You as a patient benefit from an amplified healing response from your own body. This can be applied to skin damaged from age and sun exposure, to hair follicles in a receding hairline and yes, to painful and damaged joints and ligaments.
The only downside of PRP therapies is that it is rarely covered by insurance so the value and need must be present for the patient and their treatment goals.