Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is derived from your own blood. Your blood is mainly liquid and contains small solid components including red and white blood cells along with platelets. Platelets are integral in blood clotting. They also contain a number of proteins called growth factors which can help in healing of injuries. To obtain the PRP, a sample of your blood is taken and placed into a centrifuge. The spinning of the blood then separates the platelets from the other components. This sample is what is then injected.
The goal of PRP is to stimulate a healing response and reduced inflammation by sending a high concentration of growth factors to injured tissue. PRP has been used in several musculoskeletal settings, including injuries to muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments. Injection of PRP is minimally invasive and is generally performed with ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance to assist in correct placement. Risks of side effects are limited as your own blood is being used for the procedure and are usually limited to risks of infection. A short-term local irritation may occur after the injection which is normal and part of the healing. Fifty percent relief is usually reached at six weeks and greatest relief is achieved at 12 weeks.