PRP Injections and Partial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tears
Uses for PRP or “platelet-rich plasma” continue to expand. Plasma is the liquid part of our blood that transports our platelets, and red and white blood cells. Platelets generally comprise about 10% of our blood.
The next frontier in orthopedic medicine is the field of orthobiologics where we as physicians are using stem cells, growth factors, and other peptides to heal or repair the injured parts of the body.
In the June 2013 issue of American Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers reported some interesting results using PRP injections to heal competitive athletes. According to the study 30 out of 34 throwing athletes with MRI documented partial ulnar collateral ligament tears got better and were able return to play after receiving PRP injections. (The ulnar collateral ligament is situated on the inner side of the elbow). All the throwing athletes had failed a comprehensive course of conservative treatment prior to receiving PRP injections. Based on these orthopedic research findings, this would be another area in orthopedic medicine where PRP can be useful.