SANTA FE Platelet Rich Plasma
What Is PRP?
PRP is short for platelet-rich plasma. Plasma is the liquid portion of whole blood. It is composed largely of water and proteins, and it provides a medium for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to circulate through the body. Platelets are blood cells that help blood clot and other necessary growth healing functions. They contain approximately 30 different proteins called growth factors which play a crucial role in healing injuries by stimulating new growth of blood vessels and collagen growth (among many other things). When a tube of blood in spun in a centrifuge, the high speed separates the red blood cell, white blood cells and serum. This process concentrates the platelets in part of the serum, thus being “platelet rich plasma”
How Does PRP Work?
The idea of PRP is that it promotes healing when injection into the site of a wound or injury. When the PRP is injected into tissue, the platelets become activated and release a variety of growth factors that promote healing. It is basically using your own bodies healing mechanisms to heal areas of injury.
What conditions can PRP be used for?
PRP has been used for many years in for dental procedure, wound healing and plastic surgery. More recently it has been used for a variety of musculoskeletal injuries, cosmetics, hair growth, and sexual enhancement
PRP is most often used for acute or sub acute injuries of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. There is a growing body of evidence about PRPs effectiveness for orthopedic related problems. Below are some links to scientific studies. I believe the evidence speaks for its self. If you are looking into PRP injections for an injury you may have, you likely know someone who has successfully had the injections.
There are various ways to use PRP in the area of cosmetics. You may have heard of the “vampire facial”. This is a kind of facial using microneedling and PRP together to build up collagen in the dermis of the skin that reduces wrinkles, can reduce scaring related to acne, and give the face a more youthful and refreshed appearance.
PRP has been used to treat androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). PRP is injected into the scalp, bringing new blood vessels and nutrition the the hair shaft and thickening of the hair shaft.
PRP has also been used for sexual enhancement in men and women. You may have heard of the “P” shot for men or the “O” shot for women. PRP is injected into specific places in the penis or vagina which can help bring increased blood flow and aid in sexual function.
Is PRP safe?
PRP is considered an autologous therapy, that is it uses your own bodies platelets and serum to heal. There are no side effects related to PRP injections. There is some pain/discomfort related to the injection of PRP. The injections are done in a sterile manner but infection is a very rare complication.
PRP injection is not for all injuries. More severe forms of degeneration of joints and complete tears can not be healed by PRP. Surgery is often needed need for this type of problems. PRP can be used in the post operative period to aid in healing.
What should I expect:
You will have an initial consultation with Dr. Kastendieck to evaluate your injury and the appropriateness of PRP for you. Please bring in any results of imaging (X-rays, MRI, etc) if any have been done, though its not necessary
You will need to be off of any anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, steroids) for at least 2 weeks prior to the injections and 1-2 weeks after.
On the day of the injection, typically 30-50 ml of blood is drawn into tubes and placed into a centrifuge and spun at very high speed to separate the PRP. The PRP is then drawn into a syringe. An ultrasound may be used to assist in precise placement of the PRP injection. The PRP is injected directly into the are of injury.
You may experience moderate pain with the injection immediately and this can last for several day. PRP starts to work within the first several days and the healing process can continue for weeks to months. Most injuries need more than one injection, often needing 4-6 injection. Most will experience improvement in pain and function for some time, often 1 year to 18 months. Some patients choose to do “maintenance” PRP injections.