Blood is mainly a liquid, but contains small solid components. These components are suspended in a liquid called plasma, and are comprised of red cells, white cells and platelets.
Typically a blood specimen contains 93% red cells, 1% white cells and 6% platelets. Each component plays an important role for the human body to function. Red blood cells serve to carry oxygen from the lungs and to deliver it to other cells throughout the body, while also removing carbon dioxide. White blood cells fight infection, kill germs, and carry off dead blood cells.
Platelets are responsible for the construction of new connective tissue, and contain proteins called growth factors that are very important in the healing of injuries. Simply put, PRP is plasma that has been modified to have a higher concentration of platelets.
To begin the PRP therapy process, a small amount of blood must first be drawn from a patient. The blood is mixed with an anti-coagulant and then double spun in a centrifuge, a process called centrifugation. This process separates the platelets from other blood cells, which allows them to be concentrated and collected. This new solution of platelet dense plasma is then injected back into the patient. No external chemicals or medicines are added, so the injection is 100% material that originated in the patient. This eliminates any chance for the body to reject the treatment.to all our patients. Our goal is to make you feel better as quickly as possible.
One valuable application of PRP is its ability to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, particularly in the knee. In a 2014 sresearchers found that patients who received platelet-rich plasma recorded significantly less reduction in haemoglobin and need for blood transfusion, experienced less pain, and required fewer narcotics than the control group following total knee anthroplasty surgery. This evidence gives hope to orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists alike that PRP will soon be the go-to treatment method for knee arthritis and maybe even arthritis of other joints.
According to the research studies currently reported, PRP is most effective in the treatment of chronic tendon injuries, especially tennis elbow, a very common injury of the tendons on the outside of the elbow. The use of PRP for other chronic tendon injuries such as plantar fasciitis is promising. PRP is quickly becoming the preferred method of treatment instead of the traditional steroid injection that is commonly used for these types of injuries. PRP is a longer-lasting alternative to steroid injections that also has less negative side effects.
Much of the publicity PRP therapy has received has been about the treatment of acute sports injuries, such as ligament and muscle injuries. PRP has been used to treat professional athletes with common sports injuries like pulled hamstring muscles in the thigh and knee sprains. To name a few, athletes such as Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu from the Pittsburgh Steelers, famous baseball player Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, and legendary golf played Tiger Woods have all benefitted from PRP therapy. The morbidity and socioeconomic costs of long-term bone healing are considerable, and complications from a severe broken bone can follow an individual for a lifetime. PRP has been shown to help the recovery process of broken bones, and in a 1-year study, “[t]here was a statistically significant benefit from platelet-rich therapy in the proportion of bones that were united”. This lends support to the wide array of treatments that can be provided with PRP therapy.
More recently, PRP has been used during certain types of surgery to help tissues heal. It was first thought to be beneficial in shoulder surgery to repair torn rotator cuff tendons, but has been found to be useful in a variety of other applications. It has been shown that surgeries in which PRP is utilized tend to yield a lower level of blood loss compared to a control group, and patients subjected to PRP displayed higher coagulation profiles—a measure of how well their blood responded to the surgery.
 Aggarwal, AK, VS Shashikanth, and N Marwaha. "Platelet-rich plasma prevents blood loss and pain and enhances early functional outcome after total knee arthroplasty: A prospective randomised controlled study.." The Cochrane Collaboration 38: 387-95. Web. 2 July 2014.  Farouk, M, Y El-Halafawy, W Hememy, H Khedr, and H Sadek. "Effect of autologous platelet-rich plasma on blood loss and haemostatic functions in patients undergoing open-heart surgery." The Cochrane Collaboration 19: 225-31. Web. 2 July 2014.  Griffin, Xavier L, David Wallace, Nick Parsons, and Matthew L Costa. "Platelet rich therapies for long bone healing in adults." The Cochrane Collaboration Web. 2 July 2014.  Tiwari, R and M Bhargava. "Platelet rich plasma therapy: A comparative effective therapy with promising results in plantar fasciitis." The Cochrane Collaboration 4: 31-5. Web. 2 July 2014.  http://www.prptreatments.org/sports-medicine/athletes-using-prp/