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First the hype, now the science: Evidence-based recommendations for PRP
Date:12/9/2013

CHICAGO Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has grabbed headlines in recent years for its role in helping some of sports' biggest stars return to play following injury including golfer Tiger Woods, Super Bowl winner Hines Ward and NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Professional and amateur athletes alike seek PRP to address a wide-range of orthopaedic conditions, including injuries to the joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. PRP is made by placing a sample of a patient's own blood in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets, which are cells rich in growth factors. The PRP is then injected back into the injury to stimulate tissue growth and healing.

Use of PRP has proliferated in recent years especially in sports medicine where injured athletes are eager to recover faster and return to their sport. Despite its rising popularity, PRP remains a costly treatment rarely covered by insurance because little scientific evidence has supported its use until now.

A paper in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) offers the first evidence-based recommendations for use of PRP in orthopaedic care. The authors, including two Northwestern Medicine orthopaedic surgeons, determined which musculoskeletal conditions PRP is successful in treating and where more research is needed.

"The hype around PRP definitely came before the science," said Wellington Hsu, MD, the lead author on the paper, spine surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and assistant professor in orthopaedic surgery and neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "In medicine, we rely on scientific evidence to support best use of treatments, but with PRP that hasn't been the case. Interest in PRP jumped way ahead of the research."

PRP does not involve any drugs or chemicals. "PRP is completely natural and uses the patient's own blood platelets to enhance the body's biological healing pro
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Contact: Sheila Galloro
sgalloro@nmh.org
312-926-0735
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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