Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) is a non-surgical procedure which can help patients recover from injuries more quickly than traditionally expected. Dr. Jonathan Glashow is now performing this simple procedure that has promising effects. In essence, Dr. Glashow is able to use a component of a patient’s own blood, utilize the healing ability of the blood platelets and focus it in a part of their body that needs additional healing. Platelet rich plasma therapy has been shown to help alleviate pain in patients with chronic injury, in particular tendonitis, and speed up healing time for patients with an acute injury.
During the platelet rich plasma procedure, Dr. Glashow and his staff take a sample of blood from the patient. This is so they can create a concentrated amount of platelets to spark the growth of new soft-tissue or bone cells. They separate out the red blood cells and the plasma, then the concentration of platelets is injected back into the patient’s body in an area where the patient needs additional help healing. The whole process takes about one hour.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is thought to regenerate ligament and tendon fibers. This allows athletes to shorten rehabilitation time and perhaps avoid surgery.
The patient’s body is not likely to reject PRP because the cells came from the patient’s own body. Professional athletes such as Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu from the Pittsburgh Steelers have recently used it. Platelet rich plasma therapy is proven to be safe and effective and can be considered as a first line of treatment prior to surgery for patients, particularly amateur or professional athletes.
For more on platelet rich plasma therapy click the links below:
http://tinyurl.com/myly2x (NY Daily News article featuring Dr. Glashow)
http://www.orthoillustrated.com/ (click on video: Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP))
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN Anchor and Dr. Glashow Discuss Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy On Air, 12/16/09
ROBERTS: As Ines just reported, platelet-rich plasma therapy or blood spinning, as it’s sometimes known, is a common practice among professional athletes and weekend warriors who are recovering from surgery. Dr. Jonathan Glashow, an orthopedic surgeon, is co-director of Sports Medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center here in New York City. He’s been at the forefront of American doctors who are offering this treatment. So what exactly, Doctor, is platelet-rich plasma therapy?
DR. JONATHAN GLASHOW, ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON: Platelet-rich plasma or sometimes called autologous condition plasma means taking your own blood and then taking a fraction of that blood and putting it in the area where it’s most needed. This is a concept that has been around for many years. It’s become easier to do and it’s a simple office procedure where we would just draw your blood with a typical syringe like this…
ROBERTS: Hold it up just a little higher so we can see it.
GLASHOW: This is an ACP or autologous condition plasma syringe. And it’s such a compact device where we actually draw the blood out of the patient and we pulled back on the syringe and we just take a little bit, 10 CCs is a very small amount. We put this device with the cap in a centrifuge which just spins down and as a means of separating.
We take the good parts out of the blood and the bad parts we just discard. We then are able to take one syringe out of the other and we generally get about three, four CCs of this platelet-rich plasma or healing factors or factors that enable the body to heal faster.
We’re not putting anything in the body. This is not doping. This is not outside drugs. This is actually just your own growth factors in the area where you need it.
ROBERTS: How effective is it when treating joint conditions?
GLASHOW: You know, I have used that on a number of professional athletes. Oftentimes on the professional athletes I operate on, golfers or football players, it’s the buzz among the athletes is they want it. And their response is it makes a big difference. It’s just not a one-off. It’s several injections, three or four injections over a period of week and its preliminary data is actually very promising.
ROBERTS: How much does it speed recovery?
GLASHOW: Well, you know, there are several studies and it depends where you’re looking at. For instance, in certain knee injuries it has been shown to speed recovery 30 or 40 percent.
A number of the Super Bowl athletes had this procedure done. And anecdotally reported it’s made a big difference on your ability to go back to the playing field more quickly. There is a lot of data that has to come out, there’s a lot of science and a lot of clinical investigations going on right.
And over the next couple of years I think we’ll learn a lot more but it’s very different than doping. It’s very different than HGH. It’s not a drug.
ROBERTS: Although we should point out that the World Anti-Doping Agency says it’s OK to do this inside a joint space but you can’t inject this into muscles because the growth factors may actually enhance muscle growth.
GLASHOW: You know, I think there’s some debate about that. It’s certainly accepted in Major League Baseball, it’s accepted in the NFL. And I’ve heard that WADA has come out saying you cannot give it intramuscularly.
GLASHOW: And that’s probably for the image of keeping it perfectly clean. But I don’t think there’s any legitimate data that shows that the IGF growth factor which increases muscle mass actually has any effect when injected into a muscle. But to be safe one shouldn’t. But most of the injuries we use it for are not into muscle anyway.
ROBERTS: And one of the things that Ines mentioned was this Activegen, which apparently was found in the possession of the assistant of Dr. Galea. What exactly is that and how does it work, and why is it banned in this country?
GLASHOW: Well, just to be clear. Activegen and all these growth hormone factors have nothing to do with platelet-rich plasma or autologous condition plasma. It’s apples and oranges.
I’m not familiar with it because I don’t use any of these drugs. But it’s apparently a method by which one can stimulate one’s red blood cells and sort of cheat to get the body to respond faster. It is a drug, unlike PRP or ACP, which is not a drug. Very different things.
ROBERTS: Dr. Jonathan Glashow, good to see you tonight.
GLASHOW: Good to see you.
ROBERTS: Thanks so much.
GLASHOW: Thank you.