Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a portion of autologous blood containing concentrated platelets above baseline values, has gained recent popularity in the field of orthopaedics. Many orthopaedic surgeons feel that PRP plays an influential role in enhancing the healing process following soft-issue injuries in patients who have failed conservative management or in patients requiring surgical intervention. Platelet-rich plasma is currently being used to treat acute and chronic tendinopathies in the clinical and surgical settings. For clinicians to fully understand the role of PRP, it is imperative that they have a general understanding of the body's healing process. Clinicians should also be aware of the various commercial systems available that may be utilized to produce PRP and the basis behind the performance of these systems. The presence of PRP provides additional treatment options when managing and treating soft-tissue injuries. However, clinicians must realize that little clinical evidence exists supporting the efficacy of PRP and more well-designed, controlled, clinical trials are needed.
Mary Atkinson Smith, FNP, Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, Starkville Orthopedic Clinic, Starkville, MS, and DNP student at the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing in Tuscaloosa.
W. Todd Smith, MD, FAAOS, Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, Starkville Orthopedic Clinic, Starkville, MS.
The authors have disclosed that they have no financial interests to any commercial company related to this educational activity.