What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is an outpatient treatment that involves injecting the patient with a concentration of their own blood cells to speed up healing an injured area. It has become a viable alternative for many to surgery and is done in an outpatient setting. PRP has gained popularity over the years after many well known athletes have utilized it such as Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez.
How Does PRP Work?
A normal injection begins by collecting a blood sample from the patient. In order to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components of whole blood, the blood sample is then placed in a centrifuge. This will separate the various layers of blood into three sections; Red Blood Cells, Platelet-Rich Plasma, and Platelet-Poor Plasma. The Platelet-Rich section is removed from the rest of the contents.
Once the centrifuge is complete, the doctor, often using ultrasound as guidance for accuracy, will administer the PRP injection into the site of the injury.