About Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet Poor Plasma (PPP) Treatments
True Healing from the Inside Out
Your body has an amazing network of complex cells that contain the secret to healing.
Think of the last time you cut your finger or scraped your knee. You probably treated the injury with a bandage and an antibiotic ointment, but you know that treatment didn’t cause your body to heal. Your body healed itself; the bandage and ointment simply protected the injury while the healing was happening.
Our doctors take this process one step further. We’re able to harness the proteins those healing cells create, called “growth factors,” and bring them directly to your injury. Your body heals itself, from within, the way it was meant to. We use your own cells. There are few drugs and no surgery. You can return to a pain-free life sooner than you ever thought possible.
We call this process regenerative medicine.
Where We Started PPP & PRP Treatments
Doctors have long understood that the body heals itself, but they didn’t understand how. So they tried many different remedies. Some – like bed rest and certain herbal remedies – worked. Some didn’t and may have even hurt their patients.
As medicine advanced, doctors focused on studying and healing the body, one part at a time. If a certain body part was damaged beyond repair, they searched for a substitute. Often, they used animal tissue, such as animals’ heart valves for patients who needed valve replacements. Sometimes they used foreign materials, like titanium screws, plates and other joint replacements.
The problem with these treatments is that your body will fight foreign objects. Your immune system will attack any addition to your body, even something as necessary as a heart transplant or a knee replacement. That is why transplant patients always have to worry about rejection and why joint replacements tend to wear out. In a few short years, your new knee, hip, or other replacement may need to be replaced, leaving you to endure another round of risky surgery, painful rehab, and long healing.
The good news is that medicine has evolved, and all of that is in the past. See for yourself in our testimonials.
What We Discovered
Recent discoveries have changed the game for patients with chronic pain – and you get to reap the benefits. Doctors have found the cells in the body that contain the signaling systems and growth factors that spur healing. Two of these types of cells are platelets and stem cells.
Platelets are found in your blood and are generally used by your body to stop bleeding. If you have ever had a scab, you’ve seen blood platelets in action. As they clot blood, platelets also unleash special proteins called growth factors that signal to the rest of the body to start the healing process.
Stem cells receive the message sent out by the growth factors. Stem cells are often found in your adipose (fatty) tissue and in bone marrow. These cells can develop into virtually any other type of cell in your body. That’s what makes them such a powerful healing agent. However, because cartilage and ligaments don’t get a lot of blood flow, often platelets never reach the site of the injury, or else stem cells can’t make the journey. That’s where our injections come in. We bring the platelets and stem cells directly to the site of the injury to spur healing.
When we combine these two types of cells and deliver them to your painful or damaged joints, an amazing healing process can happen. Our treatment plans can help you to experience a full range of motion, live without pain, and avoid surgery for conditions like ACL, MCL, LCL, meniscus tears, advanced arthritis, rotator cuff tears, and even hip or knee replacements.
In fact, surgeries for many of these problems are on their way to extinction. Medicine is advancing in this area, much as it has already advanced in many other areas. For example, many years ago, patients needed surgery to prevent heart attacks. Today such treatment is unthinkable, because patients can have an outpatient cardiac catheterization and stent placement with no recovery time. We are seeing the same trend in the field of pain and orthopedic medicine. The only difference is that stem cell treatment is much less risky, totally natural, totally regenerative, and much less invasive than even current heart procedures. It is nothing short of a miracle.
Pain relief without drugs and surgery is possible – and we’re here to help you achieve it.
Starting the Treatment
We start the treatment by removing the types of cells we need – platelets and stem cells – from your body. By using your own cells, we ensure your body won’t reject the treatment. What we’re doing is simply taking healing cells that already exist and moving them to another part of your body where they are needed.
Learn more about two of the components we take – Platelet Rich Plasma and Platelet Poor Plasma – and how they help your body heal below.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is one of the first ingredients your body provides for our treatments. You’ll find that getting this plasma is relatively simple and easy for you. First, we take a simple blood draw. Then we put that blood sample into our advanced centrifuges. The centrifuge separates your blood into its component parts: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. We only need the plasma and platelets, so that’s what we take, producing PRP.
We use the most advanced centrifuges available, because we have to get the precise composition and concentration of platelets exactly right. Our equipment is regularly upgraded to ensure the best results.
After we’ve created the PRP, a simple injection is all it takes to bring it to the part of your body where it’s needed. Our physicians are highly trained and constantly educating themselves in the art of injection. They use that training to inject the PRP and stem cells directly into your injury. Because of their expertise in the art of injection, our patients enjoy successful results over 95% of the time. The national average is 60%.
Once the platelets and stem cells arrive at your injury, the platelets signal to the stem cells to “wake up” or activate. The stem cells, once activated, recognize the damaged cells and turn into the types of tissue needed to heal the injury. For instance, if the cartilage is injured, the platelets will tell the stem cells to turn into chondrocytes. As your cartilage (or tendon, ligament, or other injured tissue) heals, you’ll find that your function is restored and the pain gradually disappears.
Platelet Poor Plasma (PPP)
PRP is not the only substance that comes from centrifuging your blood sample. Our doctors can also create its opposite, Platelet Poor Plasma (PPP). PPP has far fewer platelets than its counterpart, and doctors used to think of it as just a byproduct of PRP production.
However, we’ve found that PPP has a different concentration of certain proteins than PRP, and these proteins can help to heal certain kinds of injuries. In some cases, we can use PPP for nerve hydrodissection, which is a simple injection procedure used to release a trapped nerve. This applies to problems such as unlar neuropathy and some cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Furthermore, if you have a muscle injury rather than a ligament or tendon injury, PPP might be the better option for you.
When you consider that doctors used to believe that damaged muscle tissue couldn’t regenerate, you’ll understand how revolutionary using PPP can be. Not only can you enjoy better healing outcomes than typical painkillers and surgery could provide – now, you can heal parts of your body doctors couldn’t heal at all.
Our doctors will fully diagnose your injury to decide whether PRP or PPP is the best option for you. From your perspective, the treatment will look the same. After we’ve taken a blood draw and created the precise mixture of PPP/PRP and stem cells, we’ll inject the mixture at the site of the injury.
Then, you simply sit back, relax, and watch the healing happen.
Continuing the Treatment
Once we’ve delivered the PRP or PPP and stem cells to the site of your injury, your treatment isn’t quite over. While stem cells can stay in place for about 3 months, PRP and PPP are only active for 3-4 weeks. We’ll need to see you for a follow-up appointment or appointments to see how your body is responding to the treatment. Depending on how you respond, we might need to deliver additional stem cells and PRP/PPP to the site of the injury or just the PRP or PPP.
We know this sounds like a lot, but compare it to surgery. First, you have to contend with risks of surgery itself, like an infection or a bad reaction to the anesthesia. After the surgery, you may have to stay in the hospital for days. If you needed a complex surgery like a hip or knee replacement, you might spend weeks using a walker or a cane to get around and months waiting for full recovery and healing. You may also need to undergo physical therapy in addition to follow-up appointments with the surgeon.
But with our regenerative therapy, you’ll be able to return to normal activities very quickly. The healing might take some time, but you’ll be healing from the original injury, not the additional trauma of surgery. You also shouldn’t have to spend time in the hospital. You can enjoy your normal life while your body heals itself. Of course, the key word here is normal – we wouldn’t recommend that you use this time to take on extra-strenuous tasks, even if you are feeling better. Let your body heal first; then go climb that mountain.
Still, when all is said and done, when you consider the risks of surgery and the benefits of our treatment, you’ll see that the choice is clear.
Getting Started: The Right Diagnosis
If you are ready to enjoy your favorite activities without pain, we are ready to help you get started! But before we can start the treatment, we have to correctly diagnose the source of your pain. When you come to our office, we will perform a full work-up and take a complete medical history. We may order MRIs and other testing. You might have had these tests done before, but we’re leaving nothing to chance. Our doctors want to see the test results personally so they can ensure that they have the fullest, most complete information. We want to understand your pain so we can heal your pain.
Join the hundreds of patients we’ve helped to say goodbye to their pain and reclaim their lives. Make an appointment at our office, and learn what our unique regenerative therapy can do for you.