Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) - A New Regenerative Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a regenerative therapy that uses the body's own healing factors. Platelets contain numerous growth factors that improve the healing process. Blood is collected from the patient and immediately spun in a special centrifuge that concentrates and separates out the platelets. The PRP is then injected into the injured area. PRP can be used to treat tendon, ligament, and joint injuries.
Below is a series of ultrasound images from a horse with an injury to the superficial digital flexor tendon. The first image was taken at initial diagnosis of the injury. The second and third images show the area of injury 60 and 90 days after PRP was injected by ultrasound guidance directly into the tendon lesion. We notice that the hypoechoic (black) region of the injured tendon has filled in with a normal fiber pattern indicating the tendon has healed well.
The Arteriocyte Magellan (R) Autologous Platelet Separator has allowed our practice to provide highly concentrated PRP with platelet concentrations from 7-14 times baseline on a consistent basis. The machine's optical detector takes away human error in the preparation of the PRP, so that we know our patients are being treated with platelets, not just blood. The closed system also lessens the chance of contamination. That is a very important feature for us. Being able to process bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) gives us the added benefit of being able to provide some of the properties of stem cell therapy, but in a much more timely fashion and at a cost that is more affordable for some clients. The combination of PRP/BMAC has been great for our severe tendon injuries and we are very pleased with the results from PRP in the treatment of ligament and joint problems.