Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a controversial treatment that is becoming increasingly popular in sports science and dermatology.
Other medical professionals oppose the use of PRP outside of its approved medicinal uses. For example, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Arthritis Foundation (AF)
In this article, we detail what PRP therapy entails, how much it costs, and when doctors may recommend it.
A note about sex and gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.
To prepare a PRP injection, a medical professional will take a sample of a person’s blood. They will seal this sample in a container and place it in a centrifuge. This device then spins at such a high speed that the blood sample separates into component parts,
The medical professional will then extract this plasma and prepare it for administration.
Some examples of treatment areas where doctors use PRP include:
Injecting PRP into the scalp may help reduce inflammation that can lead to hair loss.
However, this was only a small-scale study, and further controlled research is necessary to fully assess the efficacy of PRP in hair growth.
Doctors may use PRP injections to help promote tissue healing.
Authors of a 2014 paper found that three rounds of PRP injections reduced symptoms in the participants with a knee injury called chronic patellar tendinopathy. In the study, the researchers analyzed cases of 28 athletes.
Moreover, PRP therapies may aid in bone healing. However, studies in this area are inconclusive on the benefit of PRP treatments. A 2021 review suggests that the lack of standardization in the preparation and use of PRP could be a factor in these inconclusive reports.
The cost of a single PRP treatment will typically be in the range of
Costs can vary depending on location, facilities, and the expertise of the doctor performing the treatment. It is also of note that few insurance plans cover the cost of PRP treatment.
Injecting PRP involves using a person’s own platelets, which is why people receiving this treatment do not usually have any adverse reactions to the injections.
However, they may experience irritation, pain, or bleeding at or around the injection site.
Most people can resume their normal activities almost immediately after having a PRP injection.
PRP is a promising therapy for those who experience tissue damage or hair loss, but there is still some controversy surrounding this type of treatment.
To date, there has been no conclusive evidence of its effectiveness, or standardization of treatment. As a result, some health bodies and organizations
Usually, medical insurance does not cover PRP injections, which can become expensive if repeat treatments are necessary.