May 16, 2024
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Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is an amazing treatment that takes all the healing factors from your own blood, concentrates them and then places them where your body needs it. If you have a tendon injury, ligament injury or joint arthritis, platelets can heal the injury and treat the arthritic pain. There are also cosmetic benefits, improving your facial appearance, promoting hair growth and improving scars. Platelets offer other benefits as well.

Tendons and ligaments need extra help to heal. Tendons connect muscles to bones while ligaments connect bones to bones. They appear whitish-yellow, which indicates that they have very little blood flow. Because of the poor blood flow, ligaments and tendons heal poorly when injured. Contrast this with muscles. The reddish appearance of muscles indicates they have ample blood flow, so when muscles are injured, they tend to heal relatively quickly. A classic example of a muscle injury is a hamstring tear. When the muscles fibers tear, it can create ugly bruising on the thigh, but the tear usually heals within a few weeks. However, when a tendon tears, it can take months to heal or it might not even heal at all. Some ligament injuries, such as a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee, will not heal without surgery.

When tendon or ligament fibers are weakened or partially torn, they need blood flow to heal. The blood delivers nutrients and growth factors that lead to the laying down of more collagen. This is the building block of tendons and ligaments as well as most tissues in the body. With PRP, the increased collagen strengthens the tendon or ligament, leading to long-term healing, and the best part is that it is your own body doing the healing.

To clarify, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff tendonitis, wrist tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome, Osgood-Schlatter’s and Achilles tendonitis are all examples of tendon injuries characterized by weakening of the tendon fibers or even partial tears. Platelets strengthen the tendon and heal all of these conditions.

Ligament injuries include all joint sprains and strains such as ankle sprains, shoulder strains, etc. The hallmark of joint arthritis is weakening of the ligaments that leads to wear and tear of the joint, with a cascade of cartilage erosion that leads to bone spurs, then joint space narrowing and eventually “bone on bone.” Any time you see a bone spur, chances are that there is a loose ligament that created the conditions that led to that spur. Platelets heal the ligaments so that the joint is more stable and the arthritic pain is relieved and recurrent ankle sprains stop recurring.

PRP is a concentrated solution so it is best to place it exactly where it needs to go. For example, when you have a partially torn tendon, it is best to place the platelets directly at the site of the tear. This is achieved with ultrasound guidance which visualizes the tear and enables the needle to be positioned right at the site of the tear. For tendon and ligament injuries, accurate placement of platelets right where they need to go leads to great results.

PRP can also help you improve your appearance. With the Vampire Facial, you get the benefit of the healing growth factors, which lead to increased collagen and blood flow for skin rejuvenation. The great aspect of this treatment is that this is a very natural way to naturally enhance your skin. Without undergoing surgery, you can achieve a youthful appearance. So while stars such as Bar Refaeli and Kim Kardashian have used platelets to enhance their appearance, the Vampire Facial is accessible to you and will give your skin a healthy, revitalized feeling. Everyone has an inner beauty. PRP helps your outer beauty so it is in sync with your inner beauty.

There are other cosmetic benefits to platelets. The growth factors that the platelets release can heal scars. This includes unsightly scars after a surgery or a laceration. Growing collagen within the scar will usually improve its appearance. Acne scars, which are tiny holes along the skin surface, are filled in with platelets. Burn scars may not be totally eliminated with PRP, but the growth factors can have dramatic effects on the appearance of these scars.

Another cosmetic benefit of PRP is hair growth. PRP leads to increased hair follicle formation increasing the hair density. While not practical for total hair loss, PRP is excellent for treating thinning hair in men and women. The best part is that you are stimulating the follicle growth with your own platelets without the use of medications or other invasive procedures. If you run your hand through your hair and you feel it is thinner than you would like, PRP may be for you.

Your platelets have other potential benefits. They can help men with ED and other issues, and provide benefits for women as well. Also, because the PRP is placed adjacent to the urethra, urge and stress urinary incontinence also can improve. Other conditions that have improved with platelets include postpartum fecal incontinence, episiotomy pain and chronic interstitial cystitis. (Editor’s note: This paragraph was edited for discretion. For the unedited version, you can check Dr. Slaten’s website at njprp.com.)

PRP is abundant, safe and the world’s most sophisticated repair system. Nothing else comes close to its amazing properties. PRP is a powerful source of growth factors. What’s best is that it comes from your own body so you are healing your own body with your own platelets. Whether you have an injury that needs the healing benefit of platelets, or if you want to enhance your appearance, promote hair growth or improve a scar or if you have sexual challenges that can be enhanced with your own platelets, you should consider PRP to improve your quality of life.

By Warren Slaten, M.D.


Dr. Slaten is a pain wellness physician in Ridgewood. For more than 20 years, he has been practicing regenerative techniques with great skill and an open mind. Check out his website at www.njprp.com

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