Your body wants to heal, it just needs some help making that happen. In many cases after an injury, the natural healing process takes its course and an area is still injured. This then turns into a degenerative condition with the associated changes in the tissue texture that appears as scar tissue and an associated inflammatory chemical milieu of growth factors that can impair healing.
I often explain healing everything from a wrinkle to a rotator cuff as healing a chronic wound. We just need to create the right conditions for healing which involves new blood vessels, oxygen, nutrition, the appropriate level of anabolic hormones and growth factors.
Platelet Rich Plasma is a product derived from your own blood. We draw anywhere from 60-240 cc of blood and process it in a sterile processing container that is spun in a centrifuge in order to separate the different layers of the blood out. The Red Blood cells go the bottom, the platelets containing growth factors reside in the middle layer known as the Buffy Coat, and the Plasma is on the top.
The effectiveness of PRP is largely dependent on the quantity of platelets obtained in this process. The type of centrifuge and kit that we use at SFIIRM is able to concentrate platelets by 5-7 times their baseline which is enough to stimulate the production of new blood vessels and connective tissue in the area treated.
The other variables that can change the effectiveness of PRP are the levels of white and red blood cells found in the PRP. In general, Red Blood cells are inflammatory and do not contribute any regenerative effects. These are minimized in our processing of the PRP by utilizing a two spin technique, that first removes the Red Blood Cells and then concentrates the platelets. In the end we are left with a Pure Prp that is ideal for both musculoskeletal and aesthetic indications.
One other immunomodulatory substance known as Ozone gas, is added to most PRP treatments in order to further refine the chemical milieu. O3 is a free radical that is able to reduce levels of inflammatory growth factors found in degenerative conditions and increase anabolic growth factors that aid in the healing process. Aside from that, Ozone quickly becomes Oxygen in the tissue, which dissolves into the tissue leaving an oxygen rich environment for healing.
The most important variable in determining the effectiveness of PRP is the correct placement of the product. Using a high definition ultrasound, we are able to accurately place the PRP into the desired location. Determining the desired location involves a clinical exam and diagnostic ultrasound prior to the treatment. This is where the skill of the practitioner can make the difference between an effective treatment and one that may be ineffective or not address the underlying cause and be likely to recur. As an Osteopath and Prolotherapist, Dr. Wardwell looks at the musculoskeletal system with an extra layer of attention to the effect of soft tissue strain patterns, hidden tendon weaknesses mediating distant bio-mechanical problems, and ligamentous laxity predisposing to tendon and joint pathology. Proper bio-mechanical alignment is assessed in order to address the abnormal forces that caused the pathology in the first place.
Lastly, Platelet Rich Plasma is utilizing your bodies innate healing capacity in order to achieve the desired effect. Utilizing PRP in the context of functional medicine allows us to optimize your molecular machinery so that you are primed for healing when we put the PRP in all the right places.