PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma in Jacksonville FL
Blood is a mixture of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and a solution of proteins called plasma. PRP, or platelet-rich plasma in Jacksonville FL, is a concentrated solution of platelets taken from your own blood that is then injected in an injured area to treat a variety of musculoskeletal disorders including tendon & ligament injuries, cartilage defects, and arthritis.
There are numerous ways of preparing PRP but in simplest terms a volume of blood, ranging from 10-60 ml (depending on the process being used) is drawn from the patient and then spun in a centrifuge. The centrifugation process basically separates the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets into a number of different layers. The red blood cells collect in the bottom of the test tube. Right above the red blood cell layer is a layer rich in platelets and white cells called the buffy coat and the upper-most layers are comprised of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet-poor plasma (PPP). The basic concept behind PRP centers around isolating the layer of the platelet-rich plasma, while trying to leave as many of the red and white blood cells behind as possible. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma contains a number of specialized chemicals called growth factors. These include platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). These factors interact with the local cells and send signals that initiate local regeneration & healing. The basic idea behind PRP injection is to deliver high concentrations of growth factors to an area of injury, with the hope of stimulating a healing response in the tissue.
PRP has been around for many years, but it gained significant popularity in 2006, when it was used to treat the American football player, Hines Ward, who had sustained an injury to his medial collateral ligament (MCL). There was great media attention because this injury occurred about two weeks prior the Super Bowl, which is the championship game and a major sporting event, and it was reported that he was given a PRP injection into his MCL and this allowed him to return and play a significant role in the championship game of the season. The use of PRP has grown significantly since then. Other notable NFL players who have publicly proclaimed the benefits of PRP include Brian Urlacher, Troy Polamalu, & Ray Lewis. Football players aren't the only professional athletes to take advantage of the benefits of PRP. Maybe you've heard of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant? How about other NBA notables like Brandon Roy, Derrick Rose, or Steve Blake? Or maybe MLB superstars Alex Rodriguez & David Ortiz? All are PRP proponents. And PRP use in the sports world isn't limited to just the "Big 3." Other notable professional athletes who have availed themselves of PRP include Tyson Gay (sprinter), Donovan Bailey (sprinter), Dara Torres (swimmer), Jean Pascal (boxer), Rafael Nadal (tennis), Maria Sharapova (tennis), and Nicky Hayden (Indy Racer) to name just a few.
What are the advantages of PRP in Jacksonville FL?
If you look at the basic science studies, PRP supports the growth of articular cartilage cells (chondrocytes) by nourishing chondrocytes and growing extracellular matrix. In other words, it grows the constituents of cartilage around it. This ability is known as being 'chrondrogenic'. PRP has also been shown to be chondrogenic by making stem cells, whether they are derived from bone marrow or from fat, go down a more cartilage-producing lineage than a bone-producing lineage.
PRP has been shown to speed healing of tendon, ligament, and soft tissue injuries. Systematic reviews of the available evidence have also shown that the use of PRP has led to improved clinical outcomes in patients with osteoarthritis. Furthermore, the use of PRP has also been shown to have a beneficial effect for the treatment of osteochondral (or bone-to-cartilage) defects.
What are the disadvantages of PRP?
Because PRP is derived from your own blood ("autologous" transplantation), there is NO CHANCE of contracting any diseases and NO CHANCE of having an allergy or immune reaction from a PRP injection. Indeed, in the literature, side effects or complications of PRP injection are extremely rare. The main risks include local infection and pain at the site of injection. The chance of infection is less than 1 in 100. However, about 1 out of 20 patients will experience a post-injection flare-up due to their immune system being hyper-stimulated. This may cause pain and swelling but typically resolves in just a few days and does not pose any greater consequences to a patient's health.
The major impedance to the use of PRP is cost, which is typically not covered by your insurance company unless you have had an injury AND your injury case is still open. There are no hidden costs at Advanced Medical Centers, so patients will be aware of all associated charges (if any) prior to the procedure.
It is always recommended you discuss the use, risks and benefits of PRP with your healthcare provider prior to deciding to proceed.