Platelets Rich Plasma (PRP) injections bring great hope for many patients with injuries or degenerative conditions that often are associated with chronic pain and limitations of normal daily activities. Unfortunate patients, desperate to do something about it, often agree to surgeries and invasive procedures not knowing that there is a better and non-invasive option.
Platelets are best known as a clotting factor necessary for clot formation in the event of bleeding.
Once outside a blood vessel (bleeding), platelets become activated by tissue thromboplastin and trigger a complex cascade of reactions that produce a clot to stop bleeding.
Another important function of platelets involves processes associated with healing and repair. When platelets become activated, they release “growth factors” which are the messengers for the immune system and stem cells. The growth factors activate and recruit stem cells to the site of injury so the healing process can begin.
When PRP is injected into the tissue, a loud message is being broadcast at the local tissue level and throughout the body that there is an injury to be healed. The message is received by stem cells that become activated and rush to the site.
Although this is a very complex in physiologic process, its practical application is very simple. We only need to inject patient's own platelets and the body does the rest.
It depends on the case we treat.
For example: for rotator cuff tear of the shoulder or tennis elbow, it takes about 10 days to see significant improvement and three to six weeks for almost complete elimination of symptoms.
All insurances made very clear that the procedure will not be reimbursed despite the fact that it is effective, without risk and inexpensive in relation to surgery or other procedures.