Platelet activation plays a key role in the body's natural healing process. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient's own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems.
In this video, HSS sports medicine physician Brian D. Halpern discusses and demonstrates PRP injections.
PRP injections are prepared by taking anywhere from one to a few tubes of the patient’s own blood and running it through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. The activated platelets are then injected directly into the injured or diseased body tissue, releasing growth factors that stimulate and increase the number of reparative cells.
Ultrasound imaging is sometimes used to guide the injection. The photographs below illustrate a PRP injection into a patient's torn tendon. The ultrasound guidance is shown at left and the injection is shown at right.
The side effects of PRP injections are very limited, since a the body does not reject a person's own blood. Learn more about PRP injections from the articles and other content below.