Platelet Rich Plasma referred to as Autologous
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) sometimes referred to as Autologous (using patient’s own blood) is exactly that, a component harvested from someone’s blood whereby a high number of platelets are concentrated. Blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. Platelets are known to aid in the healing process of all wounds and therefore the regeneration of cells. New data show that platelets release large doses of bioactive proteins, known as growth factors responsible for attracting macrophages, mesenchymal stem cells and osteoblasts which promote the removal of necrotic tissue and enhance tissue regeneration and repair.
Platelet Rich Plasma – PRP – History
Platelets are responsible for the process of hemostasis, development of new connective tissue, and restoration of blood circulation. A blood specimen typically contains 93% RBC, 6% Platelets, and 1% WBC. The foundation for the benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is by inverting the blood ratio of RBC to 5%, and increasing platelets to 94% to stimulate recovery. PRP has demonstrated potential for relieving pain by promoting healing of several conditions. Recent advances in methods for PRP preparation and use have made it possible for physicians in the United States to take advantage of this concentrated form of growth factors from the patient’s blood and turn it into a healing mechanism.
In the early 2000’s, the use of PRP extended into orthopedics to boost healing in bone grafts and fractures. Continued success encouraged its use in sports medicine for connective tissue repair. The first human study published by Mishra and Pavelko, associated with Stanford University, supported the use of PRP for chronic elbow tendinosis in 2006. This study reported a 60% improvement immediately, 81% at 6 months and 93% decrease in pain at the final two year follow up. In 2008, Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver, Hines Ward, received PRP for a knee medial collateral ligament sprain, and credited PRP for his ability to play and win Super Bowl XLII.
Since then, other high profile athletes, such as Takashi Saito, pitcher for the L.A. Dodgers, and championship golfer Tiger Woods attributed PRP for helping them return to their respective sport. Canadian Olympic figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond and several American football players are also reported to have benefited from having this treatment in recent years as it has become acceptable and more available globally. Although some skepticism and controversy remains, studies continue to validate the use of PRP for chronic elbow tendonosis, degenerative knee cartilage, jumper’s knee, knee osteoarthritis, ligament and tendon injuries, muscle strain and tears, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tendinopathy and many more applications.