PRP Injections Specialist
Dr. Rainer Fischer, of the European Integrative Medicine Center,
is the top choice for platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy in the Scottsdale, Arizona area.
by Rainer Fischer, ND
PRP stands for “platelet-rich plasma.” Blood is primarily composed of a liquid called plasma, and within the plasma are solid components: red and white blood cells and platelets. Although platelets may be best-known for their function in making blood clot, they also contain hundreds of proteins. These proteins — called growth factors — help promote healing of body tissues. PRP is a concentrated form of plasma in which the concentration of platelets can be five to 10 times richer than normal plasma.
PRP is usually made from the patient’s own blood. This reduces the chance of a reaction to foreign proteins or cells such as might occur with donor blood. After cleaning the patient’s skin, the doctor or technician draws blood from a vein. The platelets are separated from the remaining cells, placed in a machine called a centrifuge, and spun to concentrate the platelets. The concentrated platelets are then replaced into the plasma.
Scientists still haven’t determined exactly how PRP works. That’s partly because whatever happens seems to occur on the cellular level, and it is very difficult to see or measure. Research has been performed that indicates the concentrated growth factors may speed the healing process. Some studies appear to imply that PRP tricks the body into thinking an old injury is actually a new injury, so the body activates a healing response.
Research thus far indicates PRP may be most effective in chronic or old tendon injuries. PRP seems to be particularly effective in cases of tennis elbow — an injury to tendons on the outside of the elbow. It has also been used for chronic Achilles tendonitis or patellar tendon injuries in the knee. Tendons don’t have much blood supply, so healing is often impaired. PRP has also been used in surgical repairs of tendons, acute tendon and ligament injuries, and knee arthritis.
Address: 11111 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
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