Autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections were first used in 1987 in open heart surgery (1). Today, PRP injections have been safely used in many fields including sports medicine, orthopaedics, cosmetics, fasciomaxillary and urology. (2)
Blood contains plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Inside platelets contain granules which contain clotting and growth factors. During the healing process, the platelets are activated and aggregate together. They then release the granules which contain growth factors which stimulate the inflammatory cascade and healing process.
Blood typically contains 6% platelets whereas PRP has a significantly increased supra-physiological platelet concentration. Although this level can vary, studies have shown that clinical benefit can be obtained if the PRP used has an increased platelet concentration of 4x greater than normal blood.
Platelet rich plasma injections (PRP injections) can be used in the treatment of many musculoskeletal injuries including that of tendons, muscles and joints. PRP injections aim to embrace and stimulate the inflammatory process which in turn will encourage the healing process. PRP focuses on restoring normal tissue composition while avoiding further degeneration.
- Ferrari M, Zia S, Valbonesi M. A new technique for hemodilution, preparation of autologous platelet-rich plasma and intraoperative blood salvage in cardiac surgery. Int J Artif Organs. 1987;10:47–50.
- Sampson S, Gerhardt M, Mandelbaum B. Platelet rich plasma injection grafts for musculoskeletal injuries: a review. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2008 Dec;1(3-4):165-74.