Ask Dr. Rob:
What is PRP?

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By Rob Hamilton, M.D.
BC Emergency Medicine,
Regenerative Medicine

What is PRP and the process?

PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. 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.

When we do a PRP treatment, the patient comes in and has their blood drawn, just as if they were going to have regular labs done. We spin the blood down in a specially designed centrifuge that allows us to concentrate lots of platelets in a small volume of plasma, and remove most of the red blood cells. We then reinject the PRP into areas that need rejuvenation. This releases growth factors that stimulate and increase the number of reparative cells your body produces.  This can include joints (like ankles, knees, hips, shoulder — helps with arthritis and inflammation), soft tissue areas (great for sprains, strains, muscle tears, rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis such as tennis elbow / golfer’s elbow) and other areas in need of rejuvenation (such as P-Shot and O-Shot for sexual wellness treatment). PRP can also accelerate wound healing and improve the overall health of skin, as it is used in the so called “Vampire Facial.”

Why do you recommend this treatment over other types of join pain treatments?

A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Science showed PRP to be more effective ands safer than Hyaluronic Acid (Synvisc) injections for osteoarthritis of the knee. There are numerous other studies in a variety of medical journals showing its efficacy for a wide range of conditions, and most importantly, we have many years of experience with PRP (and have done thousands of injections) and have found it to be safe and effective for above uses.

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