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What is platelet-rich plasma therapy?

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In platelet-rich plasma therapy, a surgeon places plasma with significantly higher concentration of platelets than normal into the area of a patient's injury, which speeds new tissue growth and promotes faster healing, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Surgeons use a patient's own blood plasma for the treatment.

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To prepare a platelet-rich plasma solution, the physician draws a patient's blood, removes the platelets from the remaining blood cells, increases their concentration and blends them with the rest of the blood, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Surgeons either inject or stitch the platelet-rich plasma into a patient's injured tissue. Athletes such as golf champion Tiger Woods and tennis champion Rafael Nadal have undergone PRP therapy. As of 2015, the therapy seems to be beneficial for treating injured tendons in the elbow area, and research is underway to determine effectiveness in other areas.

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