PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma, or blood plasma with concentrated platelet content. Platelets are derived from stem cells in the patient’s bone marrow.
As platelets come into contact with the damaged collagen and endothelial cells, a fibrin clot forms and growth factors are recruited and released.
Two growth factors are of particular interest in dealing with orthopedic injuries. Platelets release transforming growth factor beta and platelet derived growth factor upon activation at an injured site. These growth factors and others act synergistically to enhance access of healthy inflammatory cells to the area of tissue injury, formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), formation of new connective tissue (fibroplasia) and regeneration of injured tissues.
Injection of PRP is a recommended treatment option for both sub-acute and chronic tendon and ligament injuries. Certain arthroscopic procedures are also incorporating the use of PRP in equine surgery.