Platelet Rich Plasma is a groundbreaking treatment option for treating painful orthopedic injuries and conditions that have traditionally required surgery to correct. In cases where surgery is unavoidable, PRP can be used to enhance surgical repair.
In the procedure, platelets from the patient’s blood are concentrated, harvested, and re-injected into the injured area or arthritic joint. Once introduced, the platelets release substances known as growth factors that lead to improved natural tissue healing. Platelets initiate repair and attract the assistance of stem cells. This is known regenerative injection therapy.
The injected platelets release the growth factors and facilitate the process of regeneration and remodeling of the damaged area, thereby strengthening and expediting the healing process.
The therapeutic effect of PRP is thought to be facilitated through the release of a variety of growth factors:[i]
- PLT-derived growth factor AB (PDGF-AB)
- Transforming growth factor β1 (TGF β1)
- Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
- Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF)
- Epithelial growth factor (EGF)
- Insulin-like growth factor 1&2 (ILGF)
- Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF)
In addition to these growth factors, PRP contains the chemokine Interleukin 8 (IL-8) which is believed to promote angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and improve blood flow.
These factors are located within the PLT’s themselves and are released upon activation, or in the case of PRP injection – into the injured body part to facilitate a focal and highly localized healing process.
PRP also contains the three proteins in blood known to act as cell adhesion molecules for osteoconduction as well as serve as a matrix for bone, connective tissue and epithelial migration:
[i] Civinni R, Nistri L, Martini C, et al. Growth factors in the treatment of early osteoarthritis. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2013;10:26-9.”