5 Questions Doctors Have About Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

When it comes to platelet rich plasma (PRP), it seems everyone has questions. While PRP therapy has been used for years, it’s still a new technique in the orthopedic world—and many still wonder if it has a place in modern orthopedic treatment.

The Ortho Biologics Institute (TOBI) holds an annual meeting focused on PRP and regenerative medicine to help physicians, researchers, and scientists connect and learn. Our very own Dr. Christie Lehman had the opportunity to attend the 2017 symposium in early June, and we look forward to incorporating her takeaways into our practice.

In the meantime, we wanted to highlight a panel from a past TOBI meeting, where orthopedists sat down to talk about some of the most important questions surrounding PRP.

Why is PRP still being debated?

Thankfully, PRP is becoming more and more accepted as a beneficial treatment for joint pain and tissue injury. And while it has yet to reach the status of a mainstream treatment, proponents of the technique think that with more education, information, and studies, it could become a regularly recommended solution.

Until a few important questions surrounding the treatment are answered—such as what is the right dosage, how much you need to get measurable results, and how it can best be administered in certain areas—it will still be up for debate in the medical world.

What determines the success of PRP?

The most important factors that determine whether PRP will be able to help a patient or not are:

  • The patient themselves. The platelet count of each patient is different and can depend on everything from their own blood morphology to the time of day.
  • The platelet concentration. The ideal platelet concentration depends on the area being treated and severity of concern, but doctors agree: a concentration of at least 1.5 million/ml is needed to see results.
  • The goals of the physician and patient. Whether hoping for a bit of pain relief or to heal tissue, the target therapy will directly impact the concentration of platelets required and the methodology used—and whether or not it will work.

Read the other three answers here.