What is a Platelet-Rich Plasma injection?
Background: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is a medical treatment for orthopedic injuries and conditions. PRP is a form of your own blood that has a high concentration of cells called platelets. Platelets contain substances called growth factors that have the ability to reduce some pain and inflammation and enhance your body’s ability to heal itself. A PRP injection can possibly reduce the need for surgery or procedures for some people.
PRP injections have been used to treat a range of conditions including to treat orthopedic conditions, including osteoarthritis, tendinitis, tendon and ligament tears.
Platelets contain components that can be effective in tissue repair:
Connective tissue growth factor (effective on cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bone growths)
Insulin-like growth factors: IGF-1 and IGF-2 (increase tissue proliferation, decrease inflammation
Vascular endothelial growth factor
Epidermal growth factor (EGF)
Fibroblast growth factor (helps wound healing, aesthetics)
Keratinocyte growth factor (helps wound healing, aesthetics) · Interleukin 8
Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)
In my case the PRP was used to treat a moderate medical meniscal tear on my left leg. This was an injury that was at the time of injection 6 months old. I had put myself through a conservative rehab regimen of originally rest, then Range of Motion work, and eventually open & closed chain strength training. A side note which I will cover in another blog are the issues that I had for the previous 6 months in compensating for the tear and pain.
The procedure is relatively quick. From check in to walking out was under 60 min. The pain level was very low in my opinion. The knee capsule does have a fair amount of nervous tissue as the wider gauge needle comes into contact with it but would likely rate this a 4/10 and only for 15-20 seconds….
I will be writing more articles on my progression & protocols that I am developing to better work more efficiently with individuals after PRP has been completed.