An Introduction to Platelet-Rich Plasma and Regenerative Medicine

Platelet-Rich Plasma pic
Platelet-Rich Plasma
Image: sportsmedicine.mayoclinic.org

Stu Steinman, MD, practices sports medicine at WestSports Medicine in Norwalk, Connecticut. To provide patients with the best treatment possible, Dr. Stu Steinman pays close attention to cutting-edge techniques, such as regenerative medicine and the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

In recent years, PRP has gained traction as an alternative to steroids for speeding rehabilitation and encouraging fast tissue reconstruction. The PRP treatment is derived from a patient’s own blood. After the blood is collected, it is placed in a centrifuge to separate it into its various components, including platelets.

Activated platelets are injected directly into the joint, soft tissue, or bone that has been injured. Sometimes, an ultrasound is necessary to guide placement. These platelets release growth factors that speed proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells, which are vital to tissue repair.

PRP is a simple and safe procedure that involves only a small rest period. NSAIDs should be avoided for several weeks before and after treatment.

Research has shown that PRP decreases pain and improves function in patients with tendon, ligament, and soft tissue conditions. The treatment can also be used for osteoarthritis. The most significant results were seen in patients with chronic tendon conditions.

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