Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No
Skip to main content

How Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Made?

How Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Made?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has been around for about 40 years, though its popularity has surged in the past decade or so as researchers find more and more uses for it. 

While PRP is now used for everything from skin rejuvenation to hair growth, it’s most often used for sports injuries and joint pain, including pain from osteoarthritis.

One of the benefits of PRP is that it’s made from your own blood, so there’s little chance of rejection or side effects other than some injection-site tenderness. So how do doctors turn your blood into a super serum?

At the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, our board-certified rheumatologists, Ahmed M. Abdel-Megid, MD, and Amanda Borham, MD, recommend PRP for osteoarthritis when lifestyle measures alone don’t improve your pain or stiffness. We offer PRP at all of our Monroe, Flemington, and Somerville, New Jersey, locations.

How do we create a PRP super serum from your own blood? It’s simple.

First, you donate some blood

You don’t have to worry that the process of making PRP involves pain or surgery, as extracting mesenchymal cells might. In fact, you’ve gone through the first step for PRP many times already — basically every time you’ve had a blood draw for testing in a doctor’s office or you’ve donated blood.

All we do is clean your arm and then insert a needle. The needle might look slightly larger than you’re used to; we usually use a 21 gauge needle or cannula (i.e., metal tube). 

We withdraw a test tube to several test tubes’ worth of blood. The precise amount depends on how large the treatment area is and how many the areas we’re treating at the same time. 

Next, we spin the blood

We take the test tubes and put them in a sterile centrifuge, which spins them at high speed. The velocity of the spinning motion separates the plasma — the liquid portion of your blood — from the solids. The solids include platelets, which are blood cell fragments.

In fact, we spin the tubes twice. The first spin separates liquids from red blood cells. We remove the liquid and spin again to separate out the small platelets. We then discard most of the liquid.

The double spin method is preferable to single spins. Studies show that double spins are the only way to reach an ideal platelet concentration. To treat moderate osteoarthritis, for instance, we need a platelet concentration of approximately 10 billion

We inject the serum

Once we’ve separated the platelets from all liquid components, the resulting serum contains just a small amount of plasma — basically, enough to act as a vehicle to transport the healing platelets.

The double-spin method we use results in a greater concentration of platelets. We want as many platelets as possible in the serum, because they’re the source of your healing. Platelets contain growth factors and proteins that your body needs to rebuild injured tissues, including degraded cartilage.

We inject the PRP directly into your joints to help support tissue health there. The PRP may also help your body build stronger or newer cartilage to cushion your joints.

Your body takes over

Once we’ve injected the PRP made from your platelets, your body does the rest of the work. Your cartilage and supporting joint tissues have the ingredients they need to rebuild and strengthen at an accelerated rate.

More than 61% of studies find PRP to be more beneficial than control treatment. In fact, PRP is even more effective at relieving pain than joint injections with steroids. You can expect results to last up to a year

Are you ready to turn your blood into a super-powered PRP serum to alleviate osteoarthritis pain and repair other injuries? Simply contact our team at our office nearest you, in Monroe, Flemington, or Somerville, New Jersey, by phone or online form.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Yes, You Can Remove Hair THERE

Yes, You Can Remove Hair THERE

It’s almost time to don your bathing suit. You’ve lost the muffin top, but still spill out … along the edges of your bikini bottom. You don’t have to shave or use a depilatory. Get rid of the hair, there, for good. Start now to be ready for summer.
7 Surprising Complications of Psoriatic Arthritis

7 Surprising Complications of Psoriatic Arthritis

When you have the skin condition psoriasis, you may be surprised when you develop a complication called psoriatic arthritis, which makes your joints painful and stiff, and has its own list of complications.
7 Tips for Living Well with Lupus

7 Tips for Living Well with Lupus

A diagnosis of lupus can upend your life. How do you manage a disease that flares unexpectedly and affects so many of your organs at once? What kind of life can you and your family expect? You can live well and fully with lupus. Here’s how.