The Benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in Prolotherapy
Platelet Rich Plasma in Prolotherapy involves using the patient’s own blood instead of dextrose. The benefits of using PRP are that there are growth factors contained in our blood that can help heal tissue more effectively than Dextrose Prolotherapy. Dr Tucker has two state-of-the-art Centrifuge systems: one made by Harvest, and a new model made by Anthrex, which has the capability of giving the most precise concentration of platelets. These two medical machines are the absolute top of the line, guaranteeing that her patients will get the maximum amount of platelets possible.
This is how it works. Although blood is mainly liquid (plasma), it also has small solid components (red cells, white cells and platelets). The platelets, in addition to helping to clot the blood, also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries.
When a patient needs PRP, we draw their blood (usually around 60 cc), and put it in a centrifuge, where it spins and thereby separates out the platelets. We suspend them (mix them) back with the plasma to have around 6-8 cc of fluid to inject into the damaged tissue. This is done in order to greatly increase the concentration of the growth factors found in this small amount of fluid.
Next, guided by Ultra Sound, we inject the PRP into the areas of most damage. We generally use Dextrose Prolotherapy around the rest of the joint to help stabilize, give further healing and prevent any further damage.
The down side to this procedure is that it involves removing some blood, so if there are issues of Anemia, or in a menstruating woman, we recommend you take Carbonyl Iron, 45mg per day, for six weeks afterward. This will help bring your hemoglobin back to normal. In patients who have lung disease, please consult your doctor about whether or not PRP would be suitable for you, since your blood carries oxygen.
PRP does take more time than Prolotherapy and can be a little more uncomfortable than Dextrose Prolotherapy, but it is more effective for more severe joint problems. Sometimes one treatment is enough, but more often, multiple treatments are necessary, depending on the severity of the problem and the length of time it has been troubling.