The human body is designed to be fairly self-sufficient, healing and rebuilding itself as needed. These processes, however, take time, which seems to be the one thing we’re all short of these days. Medical science has tried to keep up with our demands, and regenerative medicine is showing great promise in helping us heal more quickly from musculoskeletal damage.
Here at Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine, our team uses regenerative medicine to help our patients quickly and strongly. As part of our regenerative therapies, we offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, and here’s a look at the many conditions that benefit from this approach to healing.
Platelets — powerful healers
Your platelets are small cells found in your blood that bind together to clot your blood, preventing you from bleeding out. While this role may be one of their primary responsibilities, your platelets also create a wound-healing cascade that’s critical for healing the damaged area.
More specifically, your platelets release growth factors, cytokines, and extracellular matrix modulators that accomplish four important tasks. They:
- Promote revascularization, creating and strengthening blood vessels
- Regulate inflammation
- Activate fibroblasts that heal soft tissues
- Encourage proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells
All four of these endeavors are critical for rebuilding and repairing damaged tissues, and PRP therapy taps into these incredible healing powers.
How PRP therapy works
In order to harness the power of your platelets, we draw a sample of your own blood and place it into a centrifuge, where we separate out your platelets. We mix the platelet concentrate, which contains 2-10 times the normal amount of platelets, into a small amount of your blood plasma and then inject the solution into your damaged tissues.
Where PRP therapy can help
Through PRP therapy, we amplify and redirect the resources your tissues to need to rebuild, which means our PRP therapy is an appropriate healing approach for a wide range of issues, including:
To give you a more specific example, let’s say you have knee osteoarthritis, a condition in which the cartilage in your knee breaks down, leaving you with an inflamed and painful joint. One of the primary hurdles in this scenario is that your cartilage doesn’t contain blood vessels, which means it doesn’t have access to the resources it needs to repair itself.
Through PRP, we deliver those resources directly into your joint, where they go to work to help your tissues rebuild.
Since PRP is autologous, meaning it comes from your own body, the therapy is quite safe, as your body readily accepts the injections. As a result, we can use PRP therapy for most musculoskeletal issues without much risk.