What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?

Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is a promising solution to accelerate healing of tendon injuries and osteoarthritis naturally. The PRP procedure uses a patient’s own blood components and growth factors to stimulate a healing response in damaged tissues. The body’s natural reaction to an injury is to send platelets and white blood cells from the blood to the damaged tissues to initiate healing. Your body’s platelets store numerous growth factors which are released through signals from the injured tissue.

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New advancements in medicine now allow us to concentrate platelets and white blood cells from your blood, and encourage this growth factor release as we inject the solution directly into injured tissue, simulating this same healing response in a much more potent form. By enhancing the body’s natural healing capacity, this treatment has been shown to lead to a more rapid, more efficient, and more thorough restoration of the tissue to a healthy state.

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PRP Research

PRP, platelet-derived factors and their effects have been studied extensively in laboratory settings over the past decade. Animal studies have shown that PRP is especially effective at repairing ligament and may also be used to improve ligament load and overall stiffness. PRP has also been shown as an effective treatment for tendon repair as it allows the tendons to heal stronger compared to control groups. PRP and platelet-derived factors also have a positive effect on both cartilage synthesis and inflammation.

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While research is still being performed to determine the real benefits of PRP treatments, they have been found effective for soft tissue injuries and allow muscle tears to heal up to 2x faster. PRP is also being used now to treat conditions like tendonitis, sprains, tennis elbow and osteoarthritis.

Many famous athletes — Tiger Woods, tennis star Rafael Nadal, and several others — have received PRP for various problems, such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. These types of conditions have typically been treated with medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. Some athletes have credited PRP with their being able to return more quickly to competition.

PRP Uses in Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine

Most sports- and exercise-related injuries involve mild to moderate soft tissue damage that is not extreme enough to justify surgery. The majority of these injuries eventually heal on their own, going through homeostasis, followed by inflammation, tissue replacement and finally repair, which results in scar tissue. Sports- and exercise-related injuries are commonly treated with medication for pain and inflammation along with physiotherapy to manage stiffness, balance problems and muscle spasms.

PRP, however, offers the potential to speed healing to minimize downtime from injuries and over-use. PRP injections are now becoming a standard treatment for exercise and sports related injuries.

Current Applications for PRP

Knee Pain

  • Patellar tendonitis/tendinosis
  • Quadriceps muscle injuries
  • Ligament sprains and tears
  • Bursitis
  • Osteoarthritis

Hip Pain

  • Hip muscle pain or injury
  • Bursitis
  • Sacroiliac joint pain
  • Hamstring tendonitis or tears
  • Osteoarthritis
Shoulder and Arm Pain

  • Rotator Cuff tendonitis, tendonopathy and partial tears
  • A-C joint pain and arthritis
  • Biceps tendonitis
  • Medial and Lateral epicondylitis (golfers & tennis elbow)
  • Osteoarthritis

Lower Leg and Foot Pain

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Shin Splints
  • Peroneal tendonitis
  • Ankle sprains
  • Achilles tendonitis and partial tears
  • Osteoarthritis
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Dr Kevin Yip is an orthopaedic surgeon/professor

He has more than 20 years experience in treating orthopaedic problems ranging from common orthopaedic problem, sport injuries to degenerative changes of orthopaedic problem.
Be assured that you will be receiving professional treatments that suit your needs.

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