Sunday, June 28, 2009

Platelet Rich Plasma Accelerates Healing of Athletic Injuries

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) has been used by hospitals for surgical applications since the 1970s. Now, due to recent advancements in technology, the treatment has now become available to sports medicine clinics across the globe.

PRP therapy is used to mend injuries to tendons and ligaments without surgery. The procedure involves deriving concentrated platelets and white blood cells from a patient’s blood with the use of a closed platelet separator system and then mixing the PRP with activating agents for injection back into the patient’s own injured tissue. The injection causes a repair response from the body within the injured tissue. The repair response begins with the formation of a local blood clot in muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone followed by the dissolving of the implanted platelets. This releases growth factors that cause fibrous scar tissue to be formed, which results in injured tissue being replaced with healthy tissue.

Because the materials used in the treatment are derived from your own body, the chance of adverse drug reactions is eliminated, making the process completely safe. In addition, with the use of closed PRP systems, no other product or material is allowed to enter during the PRP production process. The systems can also be completely automatic, which allows for consistent reproducible concentrates of PRP.

Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers used PRP treatment prior to the team's win in the Super Bowl. Major league pitcher Takashi Saito of the Los Angeles Dodgers and approximately 20 professional soccer players have also undergone the procedure. According to sports medicine experts, PRP therapy could lead to more successful treatment of persistent injuries such as chronic elbow tendonitis (tennis elbow) and knee tendonitis for athletes.

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