Platelet rich plasma is another therapy physicians can use in regenerative medicine. It primarily promotes soft-tissue healing and has received much publicity for its use by athletes trying to get an edge or avoid a surgical procedure on muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilage¹. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it also can be used to treat early osteoarthritis and is becoming more prevalent in restorative and regenerative medicine².
Doctors collect PRP from the peripheral blood of the patient. Through venipuncture, a patient’s blood is drawn and the platelets in it are concentrated to up to 10 times that in normal blood plasma. Doctors then inject the platelets into the desired area of the patient’s body using an imaging devise like ultrasound³. The platelets interact with stem cells and prompt them to release their own growth factors, which the body uses to heal tissue⁴. For chronic wounds, researchers discovered exosomes derived from PRP serve the same function as PRP. That is to say, they induce the healing of blood cells and stimulate the creation of tissue⁷.
Like with exosome therapy, patients don’t reject PRP because their own platelets are used. But a major drawback of PRP is that very few insurance companies will reimburse for the cost of PRP injections, which can run from $2,500 and beyond.
Another drawback of PRP is that platelets aren’t as hardy as exosomes or stem cell therapies and can take weeks or months for any benefit to be realized.
Contact Dr. Joseph Yazdi at Arch Neurosurgery to see if PRP injections could be right for you.