When the good folks at Apex Biologix sell PRP kits to local clinics, they do so with the knowledge that said kits will most likely be used to treat patients suffering from some sort of orthopedic problem or musculoskeletal injury. They are kits designed to be used with autologous material. That is to say blood and stem cells donated by the person being treated.
As just one example, consider a patient needing reconstructive oral surgery following an accident. The patient’s surgeon is likely to use PRP therapy to promote faster healing and a more full recovery. The PRP (platelet-rich plasma) material is donated by the patient, processed using one of Apex Biologix PRP kits, and injected following the surgical procedure.
An obvious question is why? The answer lies in the benefits of PRP material. Doctors can forgo PRP therapy and opt to allow the patient’s body to heal without any additional prompting, but there are four things PRP offers that makes it worthwhile:
1. Healing Power
Medical science has known for decades that blood plasma and its associated growth factors are a big part of the healing process. They have been using PRP since the 1990s to encourage faster and better healing of damaged bone and wounds.
If the point of reconstructive surgery is to promote healing, it only makes sense that doctors would utilize every means possible to the best possible outcome for patients. That is the exact purpose of PRP therapy. Not using it is to not take advantage of something long known to be effective.
2. Patient Safety
Since PRP therapy utilizes blood drawn from the patient being treated, there is no risk of rejection or complication. That makes PRP therapy extremely safe. The only concern is the slight possibility of infection common to every medical procedure that utilizes needles.
It should be noted that there are more safety risks related to invasive surgical procedures. So in cases where PRP therapy can be used instead of surgery, it is welcome.
It should also be noted that autologous PRP therapies are already allowed under current FDA regulations. The FDA has confirmed that autologous PRP material is safe for use as long as it remains minimally manipulated. In short, doctors do not need further FDA approval for PRP therapy procedures as long as patients donate their own blood and said blood is not manipulated beyond centrifuge processing.
3. Procedure Simplicity
One of the most amazing things about PRP therapy is its simplicity. Doctors need only a small blood sample to do what they do. Anyone who has given blood for standard lab work is already experienced with the kind of blood draw required by PRP procedures.
After being drawn, the blood is processed in a specialized centrifuge to separate out platelets and growth factors. The resulting material is then injected into the injury site. That’s all there is to it. It is a simple procedure that doctors can learn with a minimum of training.
4. Procedure Cost
Although PRP injections can appear costly due to the fact that health insurance plans don’t cover them, they are still less costly overall than many other treatments used to repair broken bones, torn ligaments, etc. Moreover, patient costs for PRP procedures are gradually falling. The price of the associated technology is falling too, making PRP therapy more affordable for more people.
Doctors and orthopedic surgeons have been relying on PRP therapy to promote bone and wound healing for decades. Next time you read about it in the news, don’t be surprised. It has been around for a long time.