How does PRP work?
When tissue is injured, the body responds by sending specific ‘super healer’ cell types to the site of injury to start the repairing process and building of new tissue. These ‘super healer’ cells are platelets. In areas of the body that have a good blood supply with high cell turnover, the arteries will deliver the platelets quickly in response to an injury so the platelets can start the work required. The problem is certain musculoskeletal tissues including joint surfaces, tendons, bones and some muscles, have a limited blood supply with a slow cell turnover and therefore heal slowly. These areas may require a helping hand to initiate the healing and repair process, and this is where PRP therapy can help. PRP provides an abundance of platelets that release growth factors upon contact with collagen found in skin, muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, cartilage and joints. These growth factors act as the controllers for the repair of damaged tissue, and are responsible for new blood vessel formation, attracting stem cells to the injury site, and generally acting as a messaging system for the body to send the required nutrients so that new tissue can be made.
PRP therapy involves taking a small sample (15 - 30 mL) of the patient’s blood, as is done for a standard blood test, and then utilising a special device, Alocuro PRO-PRP, to concentrate the platelets from the whole blood sample, so that a highly concentrated form of patient’s own platelets can be injected directly to the injured tissue.
By delivering the platelets directly to the site of injury, the healing process can be boosted, leading hopefully to a reduced healing time and a stronger regenerative response.
Why are platelets the ‘super healer’ cells?
Platelets perform many functions in our bodies, including formation of a blood clot and release of growth factors (GF) into injured tissue or a wound. These growth factors’ function is to initiate and accelerate repair and regeneration of tissue. Platelets contain huge reservoirs of these growth factors and the more growth factors available in the damaged tissue, the more stem cells are attracted to the site to produce new tissue. PRP supports and improves the body’s own ability to heal itself.
Blood platelets have a central role in hemostasis. Non activated platelets have a discoid shape. Once activated, platelets become “sticky” and adhere one to another (aggregation) and also to adjacent tissue, contributing this way to stop bleeding in small blood vessels.