WHAT IS PLATE-RICH PLASMA
Platalet rich plasma (PRP) therapy belongs to the group of natural and therefore safe procedures in the field of regenerative medicine. It is used in areas such as sports medicine, orthopedics, aesthetic medicine and dermatology. PRP therapy consists in administering, in place of the planned revitalization, own plasma concentrated in platelets, which naturally stimulates the surrounding cells to develop and to produce extracellular matrix. The active factor stimulating tissue regeneration are growth factors released from stimulated platelets (thrombocytes).
In orthopedics, the procedure of administering platelet-rich plasma is used therapeutically in the case of injuries of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and as an auxiliary in degenerative diseases of the joints. The results of treatment with PRP depend on which organ or tissue is treated, on the extent of their damage, on the patient's general health condition, and on the chronicity of the disease process. Due to the fact that the method of PRP treatment is relatively young, there are currently no results of large randomized trials in the field of long-term results of its use in each indication. The most promising results are in the treatment of tendon and muscle diseases.
SAFETY OF PRP TREATMENT
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is safe because it is an autologous therapy, i.e. PRP is obtained from the patient's own blood, and thus the risk of allergic and infectious complications (e.g. viral hepatitis) is minimized. In turn, the administration of the preparation takes place precisely under the control of ultrasound imaging.
QUALIFICATION FOR PRP TREATMENT
For the treatment of soft tissue injuries of the musculoskeletal system (MSK), an orthopedic physician or a physician performing ultrasound examination of the MSK system is qualified. Based on the history, physical examination and ultrasound examination, the doctor also determines the optimal time for the PRP procedure, which should not be performed too late from the moment of injury, or too early. Before the procedure of administering PRP, it may be necessary to perform an additional procedure, e.g. evacuation of a traumatic hematoma or magnetic resonance imaging. Remember to consult an orthopedist as soon as possible after a locomotor system injury and perform an ultrasound examination.
THE COURSE OF THE PRP TREATMENT
As part of the procedure, about 10-50 ml of blood is collected from the patient's vein, as in a standard blood collection, but blood is collected into a special set of test tubes. Then the blood is centrifuged for a few minutes, which separates the blood cells from the plasma with a concentrated content of platelets. In a further step, a reagent that activates the plates for the release of growth factors (active regenerative factors) is added to the test tube with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and in this form the preparation is ready for administration to the tissue. Administration is done with a needle under ultrasound guidance. The entire procedure usually takes about 30-40 minutes. The possible indication for repeating the procedure is determined by the doctor.
The effects of treatment with PRP / PRP-Behandlung usually begin to be subjectively felt up to about 3 weeks after the procedure and depend on the type of disease, its location and severity.
PROCEDURE AFTER PRP TREATMENT
In the case of treatment of soft tissue injuries (e.g. ligaments) immediately after surgery and within 7-10 days after it, it is recommended to immobilize the limb in an orthosis. Braces are available from medical supply stores. The type of orthosis is recommended by the doctor during the initial qualifying visit. After the procedure, a follow-up visit is scheduled, during which the doctor assesses the early results of the treatment and plans any additional treatment, e.g. physical therapy.