Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: What Are They?

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: What Are They?

PRP injections are a new medical technology used in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries.  Plasma is a component of your blood that contains special “factors,” or proteins, that help your blood to clot. It also contains proteins that support cell growth. Researchers have produced PRP by isolating plasma from blood and concentrating it.

The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues will stimulate your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing.

What are the purposes of PRP injections?

  • Hair Loss: promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Injections are effective in treating androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness.
  • Acute injuries: Treat acute sports injuries, such as pulled hamstring muscles or knee sprains.
  • Postsurgical repair: Repair a torn tendon (such as a rotator cuff tendon in the shoulder) or ligaments (such as the anterior cruciate ligament).
  • Osteoarthritis: Injections in the knee may help people with osteoarthritis. A study found that they were more effective than hyaluronic acid injections (a traditional therapy) for treating osteoarthritis.

PRP can be injected in different ways. For example, sometimes a topical numbing lidocaine solution is applied to your scalp before injection. You may have to arrive early to a treatment session if this is the case.

What is the recovery time for PRP injections?

When PRP is injected after an injury, your doctor may recommend that you rest the affected area. However, these recommendations are more related to the injury and less to the PRP injections. Most people can continue their daily activities following PRP injections.

Because PRP injections are intended to promote healing or growth, you may not notice an immediate difference after receiving the injections. However, in several weeks or months, the area may begin healing faster or growing more hair than you would have expected if you hadn’t received PRP injections.

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