Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a new treatment providing positive results in research and practical outcomes in both human and equine applications. Platelets are best known for their role in initiating blood clotting however they have also been found to be a rich source in promoting healing. PRP has many growth factors with varying actions. Some of these growth factors accelerate tissue and wound healing and they promote healing via a regenerative process rather than a reparative process (scar tissue).
Blood is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma the non-cellular component of blood. PRP therapy involves a single blood sample from a patient being processed through a series of centrifugation procedures to separate and concentrate the platelets from the other blood cells. The resulting product, the PRP, contains specific growth factors which can then be delivered to injured tissues to enhance healing. As PRP is an autologous product (meaning it comes from the patient's own blood), it will not be rejected by the patient's immune system.
After harvesting and processing, the resulting PRP is then injected for example into a tendon at the site of damage under ultrasound guidance followed by a rehabilitation program depending on the individual patient.