What is PRP?

PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. It is blood plasma with a high concentration of platelets. Platelets are cells in the blood that contain large quantities of healing proteins. These proteins initiate and accelerate new tissue growth within tendons, ligaments, and intervertebral discs to repair damage and relieve symptoms for patients with orthopedic-related chronic pain.

Platelet-rich plasma, also known as PRP, contains a high concentration of growth factors and platelets. PRP that is used in regenerative medicine is autologous, meaning that it is generated from a person’s own body.

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Why is PRP so effective?

About six percent of normal blood is made up of platelets. On the other hand, PRP contains about 94 percent platelets. These platelets are important in the body because they can improve and speed up the healing processes. This is possible because of the many proteins, immune system cells, and other bioactive factors that PRP is composed of.


Platelet-enriched plasma, or PRP, offers people who suffer from ankle arthritis, cartilage injury, or Plantar Fasciitis a non-surgical alternative. Using PRP therapy derived from extracted plasma and concentrating the platelets, PRP therapy promotes new cellular growth and accelerates your body’s own healing process in the ankle.


PRP injections have been shown to be effective for sufferers of chronic lumbar lower back pain. It can promote healing and repair for some of the most common causes of chronic low-back pain, including damaged discs, compression of spinal nerve roots, disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.


Platelet-rich plasma helps with the healing process for elbow-related injuries, including tennis elbow, tendon or ligament tears, and repetitive use injuries. Blood platelets attract your body’s healing growth factors, and by using image-guided injections of PRP at the site of the injury, the healing process will be accelerated.


Knee pain patients suffering from osteoarthritis, cartilage degeneration, ligament and tendon tears, or repetitive use injuries of the knee have found relief with ultrasound-guided PRP injection therapy. The platelet-rich plasma is injected at the injury site, accelerating the body’s own natural healing process.


PRP has shown great promise in stimulating the repair of body tissues in and around the hip joint. Mimicking the body’s innate response to an injury and stimulating platelet activation, the activated platelets play a dynamic role in the soft tissue healing of the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage tissue of the hip. In osteoarthritis of the hip, PRP can enhance the body’s normal healing response for an acute or chronic condition. This results in the development of new collagen and healing growth factors.


Common shoulder injuries that are the result of repetitive or active use can often be treated with ultrasound-guided PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy. Rotator cuff tears and osteoarthritis of the shoulder from golf, tennis, baseball, or just active lifestyle are often the sources of discomfort and soft tissue pain. The area injected with PRP derived from your body’s platelet will attract healing growth factors to the injury site promoting shorter non-surgical recovery.

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Why consider PRP injections?

Injecting a patient’s own PRP into damaged tissue is an effective, safe, and minimally invasive treatment option. By enhancing the body’s own natural healing abilities, patients can enjoy a faster and more thorough healing process that relieves symptoms, allowing them to return to their regular activities.

When can I expect relief following PRP treatment?

This is somewhat unknown and impossible to predict. PRP itself does not provide immediate relief; rather it sets into motion a repair mechanism that takes time and varies depending on the individual patient and their specific condition.

What to expect during your PRP procedure

During the PRP procedure, initially, blood is drawn from your arm using an IV. The blood is first separated via centrifugation into platelets, white blood cells, plasma, and red blood cells. The platelets and plasma are then isolated and concentrated via centrifugation. The product is a plasma with a high concentration of platelets. This solution is then loaded into a sterile syringe, ready for injection.

The PRP injection is performed on the same day, as part of the same outpatient procedure. The whole process, from blood draw to injection, typically takes less than an hour to complete, sometimes more depending on the injection site. During the injection procedure, either ultrasound or fluoroscopy will be utilized to visualize the site of injury and ensure that the solution is injected right at the target site.

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How does PRP differ from “traditional” stem cell therapy?

PRP is derived from your blood, not your bone marrow. Therefore, PRP does not contain stem cells, only the growth factors and platelets found in plasma.

Alternative treatments, like PRP therapy, get athletes back in the game

Many athletes struggle with sports injuries and are looking for alternative treatments to get back into the game. They need something that is safe, effective, and speeds up the healing process. Athletes like Tiger Woods, 2019 Masters winner, Kobe Bryant & Steph Curry, both top-rated NBA All-Stars and Alex Rodriguez from the Yankees have all found an alternative treatment that has revitalized their careers. They, along with other athletes and any person living an active lifestyle, can benefit from Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) when it comes to injuries and chronic pain. If you are looking to avoid surgery, additional surgery, or to speed up the recovery from recent surgery, PRP is an option to consider.

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PRP + alpha-2-macroglobulin treatment

Alpha-2-macroglobulin (or A2M for short) is a large plasma protein in the blood that is mostly made by the liver. When a patient is suffering from arthritis, chemicals destroy the cartilage in their joints, resulting in pain and inflammation. This degenerative process will eventually cause the cartilage to disappear completely, which results in painful friction caused by bones rubbing together. (In normal healthy joints, cartilage works as a sort of buffer to prevent bone-on-bone contact.)

How does the A2M procedure work?

When our clinic starts an A2M Procedure, the first thing we do is identify which spinal disc the patient is having pain from. Once the disc is identified, we concentrate a product from the patient’s own blood called “alpha-2-macroglobulin.” These injections can help to neutralize the enzymes that have been breaking down the patient’s spinal discs. 

How is A2M different from PRP Therapy?

PRP stimulates a healing response, and the first phase of healing involves inflammation. As a result, PRP may initially cause inflammation and discomfort that can potentially last for up to one week. A2M therapy is different in that it acts to reduce inflammation by capturing and inactivating the three major chemicals that lead to joint breakdown and cartilage damage. Once these “bad chemicals” are trapped by A2M, the body can then quickly purge them.

Is A2M therapy right for you?

The joint restoration process will work best when used early in arthritis treatment before destruction has progressed, but A2M injections will reduce pain and repair the damage caused by arthritis in most patients.

If you are interested in learning more about whether A2M will be an effective treatment for you, call us today at 425-528-1402 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hostetter.

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