Ever since the dawn of time, people have searched for the elusive Fountain of Youth. This pursuit even prices Ponce de Leon his lifetime. So… does the Fountain of Youth exist?
It turns out that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can accelerate the healing procedure.
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Recently, a new area of medical specialty was born… the specialty of regenerative medicine. Physicians from multiple fields like rheumatology, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and sports medicine have collaborated to create new methods to speed the healing procedure.
Used extensively in athletes who had to go back to the playing area as soon as possible, PRP has become an important instrument used in the treatment of soft tissue injuries in addition to arthritis.
So what's PRP?
1. PRP is an ultra-concentrated preparation of blood, a patient's own blood. Because it's a blood product, there's been a concern it is a kind of blood doping. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Here's why…
2. The concentrate includes a high number of platelets and very few red blood cells. Platelets are responsible for the creation of a first clot during wound healing. They also contain many growth factors.
3. Growth factors from platelets are released when they are in contact with an acute injury.
4. Not all PRP is exactly the same. There are a number of manufacturers of devices that promise to make the perfect platelet concentrate. But studies have shown wide variability in the amount in addition to the quality of platelet concentrate.
5. PRP has been used to treat a number of conditions including tendinosis, arthritis, and bursitis. Additionally, ligament injuries can react to PRP.