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Johns Hopkins: Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a treatment that involves using a patient's own blood to promote healing and tissue regeneration. The procedure involves drawing a small amount of the patient's blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and growth factors from the red and white blood cells. The resulting PRP is then injected into the area of injury or damage, where it can stimulate the body's natural healing response and accelerate the repair process. PRP has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including sports injuries, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and muscle strains. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed in a doctor's office with little to no downtime for the patient.

10 Key Takeaways

  1. PRP stands for Platelet-Rich Plasma, which is a concentrated source of growth factors derived from a patient's own blood. PRP injections for healing involve drawing a small amount of the patient's blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting the concentrated solution into the site of injury.

  2. PRP injections have been used for many years in orthopedic medicine to treat conditions such as tendonitis, osteoarthritis, and ligament injuries. PRP has also been used in other medical fields like dermatology for skin rejuvenation and hair regrowth.

  3. The platelets in PRP contain many different types of growth factors that promote healing, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

  4. PRP injections are generally considered safe because the patient's own blood is used to create the concentrated solution, which minimizes the risk of an adverse reaction.

  5. The procedure is typically performed in an outpatient setting and does not require general anesthesia.

  6. The effectiveness of PRP injections can vary depending on the individual patient and the nature of the injury or condition being treated. Some patients may experience significant improvement after just one injection, while others may require multiple injections over a period of weeks or months.

  7. PRP injections may be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as physical therapy, bracing, or surgery.

  8. PRP injections are typically more expensive than traditional treatments such as corticosteroid injections or physical therapy.

  9. While PRP injections are generally considered safe, there is some risk of infection, bleeding, or nerve damage at the injection site.

  10. Some studies have suggested that PRP injections may be more effective than traditional treatments for certain conditions, but more research is needed to fully understand the benefits and risks of this treatment.


  1. Mishra A, Tummala P, King A, et al. Buffered platelet-rich plasma enhances mesenchymal stem cell proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2009;15(3):431-435. doi:10.1089/ten.tec.2008.0513

  2. Everts PA, Knape JT, Weibrich G, Schönberger JP, Hoffmann J, Overdevest EP, Box HA, van Zundert A. Platelet-rich plasma and platelet gel: a review. J Extra Corpor Technol. 2006 Jun;38(2):174-87. PMID: 16878666; PMCID: PMC6666112.

  3. Foster TE, Puskas BL, Mandelbaum BR, Gerhardt MB, Rodeo SA. Platelet-rich plasma: from basic science to clinical applications. Am J Sports Med. 2009;37(11):2259-2272. doi:10.1177/0363546509349921


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