Understanding PRP and How It Is Related To Orthopedics-Facts and Myths
What are the basics of PRP?
PRP (stand for platelet-rich plasma) has significant importance in advance medical treatments. This method of treatment has been used in different surgeries since 1970. Basically, plasma is a protein that plays a vital role in our body, it not only facilitates our blood to clot but also helps in cell growth. The principal of the PRP is based on this function. Simply researchers have developed some procedures to inject this concentrated form of plasma into damaged and injured tissues to promote the growth of new and healthy cells in the body. It is a more concentrated form of plasma so it helps in faster growth of cell and ultimately faster healing. Some PRP applications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and some are not.
Additives In PRP treatment:
Some doctors add Thrombin and calcium chloride as additives. These additives can increase the properties of PRP by stimulating the clotting and enhance the regenerative properties of the plasma.
What is the formulation of PRP and its effect?
PRP solution or formation may vary because platelets are collected from the patients’ body. And every human being blood is different from others. Moreover, every physician has its approach to formulate the PRP injection.
What is the procedure of PRP?
PRP has the following steps:
Step 1: Normally healthcare professional draw the blood from the patient. The amount of blood depends upon the type of procedure where the doctor is going to perform this procedure. Normally it is in a very little amount.
Step 2: Patient’s blood sample is taken and sent to the lab where the PRP is prepared under strict sterile conditions.
Step 3: The final preparation is sent back to the doctor from the laboratory and the Doctor then injects the PRP in desired location.
Criteria to choose an orthopedic surgeon for PRP:
Selection of the doctor to take the procedure of PRP injection is very important as every doctor has his formulation and procedure to perform this therapy.
Patient should know the following things before the procedure:
First of all condition of the disease should be confirmed or verified from different test or imaging results such as X-ray or ultrasound.
- The patient must have an idea about how severe is the problem? Is it too severe to treat with PRP therapy?
- Is the doctor qualified to perform PRP therapy?
- Is the doctor using fluoroscopy or other tools to specify the exact location of injection?
- What is the doctor’s success rate? How accurate and expert he is in his treatment?
Where we can use PRP in general?
PRP injections are used in acute injuries, postsurgical repair, Tendon injuries, removal of scars, skin treatments and Osteoarthritis.
Uses of PRP technology in orthopedics cases:
The following condition can be treated under the PRP treatment.
Foot and ankle
Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, sports injuries, ankle sprain
Back and hip
Hip arthritis, hip bursitis, facet joint pain, hamstring tendonitis.
Bursitis, degenerative arthritis, patellar tendonitis, ligament injuries.
Hand and wrist
Wrist arthritis, TFCC, ligament damage ad strains.
Ligament injuries, shoulder arthritis, rotate cuff tendonitis, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder),
Elbow arthritis, tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow.
Role of PRP in Orthopedics
PRP injections are used more widely in orthopedics as compare to other medical departments.
PRP for Knee osteoarthritis
A lot of researches have shown that PRP injections have a dramatic effect on the pain of knee caused by osteoarthritis. It not only decreases the pain but also reduces the stiffness of the knee. There is also one more thing that, this treatment is less painful and simple as compared to other treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
PRP in tendon and ligament injuries/shoulder injuries
Injuries of tendon and ligament are the most common injuries among the young generation. It is very difficult to regain the complete cure of tendon and ligament injured tissues because of formation of scar and adhesions. The healing process of these body part is very slow in all other methods of treatments and sometimes there are few chances of re-injury after healing because of complex structure and arrangements of tissues. So PRP has significant importance in surgeries related to tendon and ligaments. Initially, this method was used in shoulder injured surgeries.
PRP in chronic injuries
PRP treatment has shown significant importance in sports injuries treatment. Elbow injury is also very common in sports. Many scientific reports have proven its remarkable results in the treatment of elbow tendinopathy.
Factors that affect PRP treatment
These are the important factors that make PRP method successful.
- Age of the patient plays a very important role because platelets of the young and immature patient have more capability to regenerate.
- Avoid any type of anti-inflammation medicine one week before and after treatment.
- Be hydrated yourself before treatment.
- After having treatment avoid any type of exercise for some days, take rest.
- The body area that is under treatment.
- The patient overall health.
- The condition of the problem either it is acute or chronic.
Disadvantages of PRP
PRP treatment is not as complex as other procedures are. However, some drawbacks are there that are needed to be improved on advanced stages. Every patient should discuss all possible aspects before treatment. Sometime Infection can occur because of bad sanitization condition, otherwise, there is no chance of infection. Sometimes Pain at the injection site. It is not effective for the whole body, some specific body parts can be treated under this treatment. If the procedure is not carefully handled, then there is a chance of tissue damage.
Advantages of PRP treatment:
PRP treatment is somewhat like a natural healing process, so there are very fewer side effects. It is less painful compared to other treatments. You don’t have to wait for a long period. After a few weeks, you will be able to feel the results. Cortisone injections and medicines can improve symptoms of the disease but in the long run, can harm the ligaments and tendons while PRP injection is quite safe. Aspirins and other pain killers may relieve pain but have an adverse effect on the stomach and PRP treatment have no such effect on the body.
Uncertainties regarding PRP treatment:
Although this PRP treatment is considered safe after a lot of laboratories and clinical experiments still there is a lot of question about this treatment that needs to perform more research. The scientists are not sure about the rehabilitation protocol off PRP after treatment. How many time patients can take treatment?
Several clinical trials are going on to find out the answers to the above questions.
Myths and Facts about PRP Treatment
Myth number 1: PRP is only for cosmetic surgeries or procedures.
Fact: it is a fact this PRP treatment got more popularity after its application in cosmetic surgery like hair regrowth and other skin treatments. However, the rest of the applications are also equally advance and have significant importance in medical sciences.
Myth number 2: PRP is an expensive treatment.
Facts: PRP is not expensive treatment as compared to other regenerative treatments. No risk factor is involved there. Price of this treatment is very reasonable and affordable.
Myth number 3: PRP is not medically proven therapy.
Fact: As compare to other medical procedures PRP therapy is relatively new but it has been in use since 1970. Nowadays PRP treatment is carried out in a number of medical departments after successful trials and experiments. A wide number of celebrities have gone through this treatment procedure. Acceptance and popularity of this procedure are increasing day by day due to its record scientific proves.
Myth number 4: Only young people can take PRP treatment.
Fact: it is considered that only young people can have this treatment but people of any age can take this procedure. It is a fact that youngsters have a better healing ability. However, PRP treatment equally works for aged people.
Myth number 5: PRP treatment is a very risky procedure.
Fact: PRP is a very safe procedure if it is carried by an adept person. Doctors use your blood, so there is no chance of rejection and reaction and no surgery in involving there. The patient can carry his normal routine after treatment. This procedure takes only one to two hours. It is the safest and non-invasive method.
The facility of PRP in Pakistan and its cost:
PRP treatment has been used widely in Pakistan in different fields of medicine including aesthetic medicine, orthopedics and skin treatment. It is available almost in all major cities of Pakistan including Lahore, Islamabad Karachi. In Pakistan, its cost varies from 15000 to 25000 per treatment that depends on the treatment area and kits quality.