Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a new technology focused on enhancing the healing response after injury of different tissue types. PRP is prepared by withdrawal of patients' peripheral blood and centrifugation to obtain a highly concentrated sample of platelets, which undergo degranulation to release growth factors with healing properties. It also contains plasma, cytokines, thrombin, and other growth factors that are implicated in wound healing and have inherent biological and adhesive properties. The prepared concentrate is then injected back into the patient at the site of morbidity. This may be intralesional, intra-articular, or surrounding the involved tissue bed. PRP preparations have been used therapeutically in various medical fields from implantology to vascular ulcers, with a more recent evolution and promising results in the field of sports medicine and arthroscopy. Sports medicine patients desire a rapid return to their preinjury level of function, and PRP may have certain applications that will speed recovery in cases of tendon, ligament, muscle, and cartilage disorders. In particular, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction has shown better autograft maturation, improved donor site morbidity, and pain control, in addition to improved allograft incorporation. By acceleration of the biological integration of the graft by use of PRP, patients may undergo faster, more intensive rehabilitation programs and return to sports more rapidly. Because of its autogenous origin, easy preparation, and excellent safety profile, the advent of PRP has opened another therapeutic door for sports medicine physicians and orthopaedic surgeons. Future directions of PRP include improving the results of arthroscopic and related surgery, in addition to delineating correct dosage, timing, and quantification, as well as ideal techniques of PRP application.
(c) 2010 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.