What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP)?

PRP relies on platelets (cell fragments found in blood) to heal and repair injuries. The platelets can come from the person (autologous) or from another person (allogeneic). Platelet products have been used for some time to help people with severely low platelet counts.

Other names for some of these products include platelet-rich growth factors (GFs), platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) and platelet concentrates (PCs).

What does platelet-rich plasma (PRP) do?

Different types of PRP products are usually given as injections (shots) to heal and repair injuries . The job of platelets in the body is to help blood clot when there is an injury. The cytokines and growth factors that are in platelets can help repair injuries and encourage healing.

Studies have indicated that PRP is or may be useful to treat:

  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Knee osteoarthritis (PRP is being combined with other options to lessen pain, improve function, and possibly help repair cartilage. A certain type of PRP called leukocyte-poor PRP or LP-PRP has been suggested as the most useful for knee osteoarthritis.)
  • Sports injuries such as pulled muscles, joint sprains or ligament tears
  • Wounds
  • Hair loss

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