Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy -- A newer therapy for Osteoarthritis & Trauma
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) uses a patient's own blood components to stimulate a healing response in damaged tissues. In response to an injury or tissue damage, the body naturally redirects platelets (clotting cells) and white blood cells from the blood to the injured area to initiate a healing response. Platelets store many growth factors that are released in response to signals from the injured tissue.
When a concentrated solution of platelets and white blood cells from the patient's own blood is injected directly into injured tissue, the same healing response is stimulated, but in a more POWERFUL form. By enhancing the body's natural healing capacity, the treatment may lead to a quicker, efficient, and thorough restoration of the tissue to a healthy state.
Conditions that we can use PRP with are: Tendonitis, ligament sprains or tears, bursitis, osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, muscle tears, wounds, & more!
To get PRP, blood is first drawn from your pet. The blood is then separated into its red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelet components here in our laboratory OR out in the field for our horse patients. We are lucky enough to have a portable laboratory specifically for PRP. The platelets are carefully concentrated under strict guidelines for sterility and quality control. Your pet is then placed under a short-acting anesthesia or heavy sedation, depending on the location of treatment. The platelet rich concentrate is subsequently injected into the injured site(s).
Depending on the severity and duration of your pet's injury, one injection of PRP is usually recommended. At the 2-week recheck, an evaluation will be made to see if there is a need for additional treatments. In general, a single PRP treatment seems to provide relief in most pets for 4-6 months. In both acute and chronic injuries, injections may be combined with other medications, exercise or physical therapy program, or weight loss to enhance the success of the treatment. For most of the patients, there will be a noticeable improvement in their mobility within a week. Most pets can resume normal activity after a week.
Research and clinical data has shown that PRP injections are extremely safe, with minimal risk for any adverse reaction or complication. Because PRP is produced from your pet's own blood, there is no concern for rejection or disease transmission. There is a small risk of infection from any injection into the body, but this is rare, and minimized by our use of strict sterile technique. Of note, recent research suggests that PRP has an antibacterial property that protects against possible infection.
If your pet had a recent injury or has one or more joints with arthritis, s/he may be an excellent candidate for this treatment. You can contact your Veterinarian for an evaluation & more information. OR you can contact us directly, here at Middletown Animal Hospital.