Use of PRP and Activated PRP in Orthopedics and Traumatology

Many tissue damage in humans due to injury or aging heals when the appropriate environment is provided. The most effective cells in healing are platelets, which are the small components of the blood. After the damage, platelets start and accelerate the healing events by releasing many different growth factors in the vesicles they contain to the injured area. The use of platelets in different treatments as an accelerator of tissue healing began in the 1970s. In orthopedics and traumatology, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma, platelet-rich plasma) is used with successful results in the treatment of complaints due to new and old injuries, as well as degenerative joint deterioration. Studies in different disciplines have shown that it provides similar or superior benefits to many other treatments in cartilage damage in large joints, most commonly the knee, muscle and/or tendon injuries and insufficient healing, long-term and severe painful skeletal system disorders. The diagnoses in which PRP treatment is most commonly used in orthopedics and traumatology are: knee-ankle-elbow and shoulder osteoarthritis, cartilage injuries, Achilles tendon problems (partial tears, tendinosis and tendinitis), heel spur (plantar fasciitis), medial and lateral epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) and tennis elbow), shoulder tendonitis and tendon tears, patellar tendonitis and ankle ligament tears.

In recent years, PRP application is increasingly taking place in treatments with natural healers, which are used more and more frequently. It can be used alone or in combination with other treatments, increasing the chance of success. Since the person’s own blood cells are used, there are fewer undesirable effects compared to many other treatments when prepared and applied by competent people in an appropriate environment. In practice, the blood taken from the vein as sterile with simple methods is subjected to a series of procedures of approximately 15 minutes. The cell and liquid parts of the blood are separated from each other after the rotation process. The part rich in platelets is taken into the application injector and after the treatment area is prepared sterile, it is given to the area. It has been shown that activated PRP obtained by chemical or physical methods in order to enable the growth factors contained in platelets to emerge more easily and intensively, is more successful especially in sports injuries and tendon problems. Physical methods can be preferred because it does not require chemicals to make PRP more effective. For this, 16-24 hours of waiting at a certain temperature or light of certain wavelengths can be used. With the advantage of applying on the same day, the light activation process, which requires 4-6 minutes of additional time, is preferred by most patients and practitioners.

PRP treatment should be applied after careful evaluation in patients with bleeding disorders and those using blood thinners and anticoagulants. Infection in the area where it will be applied is an obstacle to PRP treatment. The treatment itself can rarely cause inflammation that lasts for a day or two. For this reason, it would be appropriate to rest the area for at least a few days after PRP and activated PRP injection.

In many diseases and injuries, PRP applications alone or in combination with other treatments reduce the amount of drug use, shorten the time to return to work and daily life, and delay or eliminate possible surgeries. It rarely needs to be applied more than once. However, it should be kept in mind that there may be situations where a natural recovery is not expected or delays in the best known treatments may be inconvenient, and that PRP application may not be the only solution for every disease and patient. The most appropriate treatment decision should be made jointly by the patient and the doctor by revealing the possible benefits.

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