PRP Orthopedics – Healing Fractures with Platelet Rich Plasma

Doctors have been using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for healing musculoskeletal issues for a while now. You’ve probably heard about athletes like Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, and various others opting for the treatment with impressive results. But, if PRP can be used to repair torn muscles and tissues, can it be used to heal fractures?

PRP orthopedics is the art of using the PRP serum to assist the healing and joining of bones after fractures. By adding PRP during surgery for setting bones, doctors can speed up the repair in any kind of injuries. Whether you have a sports related injury or the erosion of bones with regular movement, you can rely on PRP treatments for relief.

Understanding the Structure of the Bones

The bony structure of the skeleton performs many functions in addition to giving shape, form, and support to your body. Bones resist the force of gravity allowing you to walk upright and go about your day to day activities. They protect the delicate internal organs from damage and act as storehouses for calcium and bone marrow. Using this bone marrow, the body produces blood and other products to maintain optimum functioning.

Your bones are constantly evolving under the effect of hormones. Like, for instance, the parathyroid hormone works to break down the bones by extracting calcium during the cell rebuilding process. In turn, the calcitonin hormone absorbs calcium from the blood and uses it to replace worn out cells. The entire skeleton of the human body rebuilds cell by cell every 10 years. And, PRP orthopedics contains the vital cells needed by the body to rejuvenate and repair.

Types of Fractures and Their Causes

Bones are extremely resilient and can take loads of up to 19,000 pounds or more per cubic inch. Although they are about four times as strong as concrete, under severe trauma, they can crack and break. Doctors characterize fractures into different kinds such as:

  • Compression fractures typically result with age and osteoporosis when the bones start to lose calcium. Your spine is most susceptible to these kinds of fractures because of the pressure it takes to keep you standing straight.
  • Stress fractures happen when you repeatedly use a particular bone to make the same movement. Athletes like gymnasts may suffer from stress fractures in their ankles and feet while soldiers are likely to notice damage to the long bones.
  • Injury fractures result from a fall or blow to the specific section of the body like the skull or ribs.

Here’s How PRP Orthopedics Developed

Doctors have been aware of the efficacy of PRP in dental care since the time the therapy was first developed. As one of the first applications of the therapy, doctors inserted the PRP serum into the oral cavity of patients after root canal and tooth extraction procedures. They found that the plasma helped with speedy healing and also minimized the probability of infections. Over time, dentists found that PRP could also aid in the formation of bone in the jaw. With the help of PRP, dental implants took root better and caused less pain to the patients. This accelerated healing occurred because of the polypeptides present in PRP. Polypeptides are strings of amino acid that build the proteins for tissue repair.

Soon, orthodontists began using the treatment to help in the reconstruction of the face, jaw, and mouth, head, and neck. Not only did PRP orthopedics help with efficient healing, patients noticed fewer scars and discomfort. In recent times, using PRP for knee pain and repairs of soft tissues like torn ligaments, muscles, and cartilage has become popular.

So, What Makes PRP Orthopedics Effective?

PRP practitioners extract the serum from the blood of individual patients. They take a small sample from the forearm and spin it in a centrifugal device to separate the platelets, growth factors, and other healing components. The platelets present in the resultant PRP serum are in concentrated form to 338%. The transforming growth factor beta present in PRP is one of the vital components for bone repair. When the plasma is inserted in the fracture site during PRP orthopedics, here’s what it does:

  • PRP induces the bone to heal quickly, up to 1.62 to 2.16 times faster.
  • X-rays show that PRP raises bone density up to 74.0% +/- 11%. In comparison, fractures that heal without the use of PRP have a bone density of 55.1% +/- 8%.
  • Osteoblasts are cells that work to form new bone. PRP can stimulate the rapid growth of these osteoblasts at the treatment site.
  • Human trabecular bone-derived cells are also essential for bone repair. They respond to the active platelets in the PRP serum and divide quickly to regenerate the lost bone. In this way, PRP causes a DNA synthesis of bone cells up to 50 times faster.
  • PRP elements attract bone and tissue forming cells to the treatment area for speedy healing.

Talk to Your Doctor About Getting PRP for Fracture Repair

Do keep in mind that your body is perfectly capable of healing on its own. In response to any injury, the body starts a healing action by flooding the area with plasma and other compounds. However, when doctors specializing in PRP orthopedics administer the serum, they provide the injury with a concentrated form of the healing elements. In this way, they are able to accelerate healing, lower the chances of infections, form stronger bone cells, and reduce pain. PRP gives the body’s regenerative capabilities a boost so that you recover from your injuries quickly. Both athletes and everyday folk can opt for the therapy and return to their normal activities in no time.

 

References:

Evaluation of the relative efficacy of autologous platelet-rich plasma in combination with β-tricalcium phosphate alloplast versus an alloplast alone in the treatment of human periodontal infrabony defects: a clinical and radiological study. 

Platelet-rich plasma: Growth factor enhancement for bone grafts. 

Platelets stimulate proliferation of bone cells: involvement of platelet-derived growth factor, microparticles and membranes. 

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Comments (2)

  1. Avatar for Saroj Aggarwal mitos joaquin says:

    my mom suffered 2 hip fractures and is unable to stand or walk, is PRP recommended since she is 84 years old

    1. Avatar for Saroj Aggarwal Saroj Aggarwal says:

      Hi Mitos,

      I am sorry to hear about your Mom’s fractures.

      May I inform you that patients of all ages can safely get PRP therapy with effective results.

      However, your medical practitioner will likely run a few tests to verify if she is a good candidate for therapy.

      These tests may include checking for the number of platelets in her blood.

      For more information, I would suggest that you call us at this number: +1 (888) 981-9516.

      Please remember to add the +1 code if you’re calling from a destination outside of the US.

      I hope your Mom recovers well quickly.

      Good Luck!

      The PRP Injection MD Team.

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