You’ve probably heard of an athlete or two having PRP treatment. What exactly is PRP? PRP stands for platelet-rich-plasma, and it’s made using your own blood to create a concentrated mix of plasma and platelets. Platelets are normally involved in blood clotting and and they contain high levels of beneficial growth factors. So PRP is a way of delivering a concentrated mix of your body’s own growth factors to a specific anatomic site.
Victor Cruz, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Troy Polamalu, and Jermain Defoe are just a few of the professional athletes that have used PRP to hasten their recovery after injuries. And now the treatment is increasingly being used by everyday athletes to help alleviate different muscular and/or soft-tissue injuries.
Researchers in England and Spain wanted to know if PRP would be successful in the treatment of patellar tendinitis. Patellar tendinitis is a common injury in athletes, and it’s caused by overuse and the resultant inflammation of the tendon connecting the kneecap (or patella) to the tibia (or shin bone). The researchers did an analysis of several clinical studies published previously, and the results demonstrated PRP-related improvements in pain and function in those suffering from patellar tendinitis. However, the results were inconclusive when trying to determine if the results were better than those achieved with physical therapy. All in all, though, the researchers concluded that PRP is a “safe and promising therapy” in the treatment in persistent patellar tendinitis.