Platelet rich therapy (PRP) has become a very popular method for tissue regeneration all over the body but in particular knees, shoulders and elbows.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is a new therapeutic tool that has gotten a lot of attention in the world of traumatology and anti-aging medicine. This is due to the successful results that it has produced in the patients that it has been used on, mainly sports professionals who have suffered an injury that took a while to recover from. A few famous athletes that have used the PRP treatment include: Pittsburgh Steelers - Troy Polamalu (knee injury), Golf Player - Tiger Woods (knee injury), Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher - Takashi Saito (UCL injury).
The goal of this treatment consists in revitalizing the metabolic process through bio-stimulation, by injecting the patient with small amounts of a complex derivative of his or her own blood (platelet-rich plasma), favoring in this way the stimulation of scarring and the regeneration or healing of the injured part of the body.
The PRP treatment is usually used to treat the following problems:
- Tendon injuries.
- Injured muscles and ligaments.
- Arthritis of the knee.
- Arm, elbow, shoulder and back injuries.
- Tissue damage resulting from a surgery.
Some of the advantages of this treatment are:
- It is a natural treatment that uses the patient’s own blood and is free of side effects.
- No disease transmission is possible.
- It is a simple procedure.
- It has a low cost compared to other procedures and considering the duration of the treatment.
- Due to the treatment application technique, it is possible to access areas of the body that can be difficult to reach with other treatments.
Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP, Procedure:
The PRP application procedure has three steps:
- Blood sample: between 40 and 60cc of blood are drawn from the patient.
- Centrifuge: once the sample is obtained, it is processed to the centrifugal process in a machine called the Harvest SmartPrep for 10 to 15 minutes, resulting in the separation of the different types of cells that make up the blood.
- PRP injection: once the platelets are obtained, they are placed in a syringe and injected into the patient’s affected area.
PRP vs. Corticosteroids
Due to the fact that tendons, knees, elbows, and shoulders receive very little blood flow, they heal very slowly. With the use of PRP, improvement can be seen much faster than with the use of corticosteroids.
Corticosteroid injections have been losing followers among medical professionals as knowledge and access of PRP have increased. Nevertheless, this treatment is so new that very few doctors have access to it and the professional knowledge necessary to properly perform the treatment. At the Anti Aging and Wellness Clinic in Escazú, we are one of the only centers in the entire region that offer this treatment.
A few statistics over corticosteroids, compared to PRP, are:
- 64% of the patients who receive PRP therapy report improved pain relief, whereas only 24% report an improvement with traditional corticosteroids.
- 84% of the patients who receive PRP therapy report an improvement in their disability, whereas only 17% report an improvement with traditional corticosteroids.
Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy is a very new procedure at the vanguard of medical technology for helping the body heal itself naturally. The treatment is available at our Anti Aging and Wellness Clinic in Costa Rica. Dr. Mesén has performed the treatment with positive results, and the clinic is one of the few in the region with this state-of-the-art technology.
Dr. Mesen extracting Platelet-rich Plasma from the Harvest SmartPrep2 at his new Anti Aging and Wellness Clinic during a patient’s procedure.