- Yale Medicine provides the safest, highest quality orthobiologic care.
- As an academic medical center, we are involved in research and are constantly reviewing the latest advances in the field of regenerative medicine and orthobiologics.
- At our Center for Musculoskeletal Care, various specialists work together to advise you on the best orthobiologic treatment choices.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a treatment that can stimulate healing and also prevent further damage in degenerative processes such as osteoarthritis. PRP often is referred to as an orthobiologic, since it is made from your own blood, and sometimes as regenerative medicine, since it can help to regenerate tissue. PRP may be a good option if you are struggling with an injury or living with chronic pain in your joints, ligaments, muscles or tendons.
A PRP treatment is a relatively simple process: Using your own blood, taken at the same office visit, the doctor uses a medical centrifuge to isolate a high concentration of platelets. These are blood cells whose main job is helping to form clots, but which also contain growth factors and other biologic proteins that promote healing. The platelets are injected in or around an injury site to stimulate a natural healing process.
PRP has been used for years to treat professional athletes, and is now increasingly used to help active adolescents and adults so they can get back in their game—be that the U.S. Open or a bike ride with friends.
“It’s important to know that, while PRP has proven to be a successful treatment for many patients, doctors are still learning about many aspects of its use, including the ideal dose, timing and number of injections patients may need,” says Leigh Hanke, MD, a Yale Medicine physiatrist, a physician who specializes in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Ongoing research (including here at Yale) is focused on developing standard protocols for PRP use that will further enhance its effectiveness. “For this reason, it’s important to seek treatment at an academic medical center, where doctors have access to the latest research and are continually improving treatments,” she says.