PRP injections are used to treat ligament and tendon injuries and can enhance healing of UCL tears. PRP therapy is part of a relatively new field of medicine known as orthobiologics that includes the use of stem cells and emphasizes the latest technologies along with the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Our blood is made of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Platelet-rich plasma is the name given to blood plasma with a high concentration of platelets that contains huge doses of bioactive proteins, such as growth factors, that are critical in the repair and regeneration of tissues. To extract these platelets, a small amount of blood is drawn from the patient and immediately undergoes centrifugation, a process in which mixtures are separated using centripetal force. This process separates out red blood cells, which carry oxygen, and the platelets and the plasma. The platelets with the plasma have all of the healing agents. Once we’ve done the separation, we extract the PRP that can then be injected back into the patient’s injured area. It is their own platelet-rich plasma — it isn’t taken from another person or derived in a laboratory.
Growth factors can dramatically enhance tissue recovery and the special proteins also initiate new blood vessel formation, bone regeneration and healing, connective tissue repair, and wound healing. There is little chance for rejection because the components used for treatment are extracted from a person’s own body. This makes the procedure entirely safe. The PRP injection also carries less chance for infection than an incision, with a considerably shorter recovery time than after surgery.