Platelet Rich Plasma - PRP

What is PRP?

 

PRP therapy is a very simple but effective procedure. It utilizes a horses own blood to jump start the healing process.

PRP therapy is effective because of the injection of concentrated amounts of growth factors and other proteins found in the blood’s platelets and plasma. Growth factors are what the body uses to heal damaged soft tissue and bone injuries as well as wounds. Growth factors, in concentrated amounts, can be especially helpful in areas of the body where blood flow is minimal. The less blood that flows through an area, the slower the injury will heal.

It is a safe and natural way for your body to accelerate the healing process, rather than blocking or masking their pain.

How does it work?

A sample of blood is taken from the horse, and processed to increase the number of platelets and growth factors it contains. This is done by placing it in a centrifuge housed at our Galley Hill Equine Surgery. The PRP sample can be ready to inject into the horse within 15-30 minutes after taking the blood sample.

The patient will normally be sedated and the injured area to be injected will be numbed with local anaesthetic. The damaged area is visualised using an ultrasound scanner, and a needle inserted, using the scanner to help guide the needle and to confirm correct placement at the site of the injury. The PRP is then injected under sterile conditions.

When is PRP used?

  • Degenerative Joint Disease

  • Sacroiliac

  • Ligament injuries

  • Tendon Injuries

  • Stifle meniscus tears

  • Damaged Cartilage

  • Non-Healing Wounds

  • Periostitis

  • Stress Fractures

  • Corneal Ulcers

What is the recovery expectations?

Most patients find themselves back in their daily routine the day after the procedure. Healing gradually happens over the course of 2-6 weeks and can continue for up to 12+ months.

Initially after the injections, we ask owners to monitor for swelling, discharge or excessive lameness.

Complications?

Complications are rare with PRP therapy. This is because the therapy involves the use of a horse’s own body fluids. There is a very small risk that the site of the injection could become infected but that risk is the same whenever a horse receives a shot.


 

PRP vs Stem Cells?

The difference between PRP and Stem Cell therapy has been described metaphorically as the difference between fertilizing your garden, and seeding & fertilizing your garden. One factor is efficacy and the other is the duration of the healing process. High grade PRP has been shown to be highly effective for many conditions. It is generally less invasive, and has a lower cost than Stem Cell. PRP’s continued healing potential can progress for 6 to 12 months, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Stem Cell therapy contains all the beneficial growth factors of PRP, but has a higher potential to heal via differentiation and MSC recruitment. Stem Cell therapy usually has a higher cost, because it is more invasive and time consuming. Studies have shown Stem Cell’s healing potential can have a 12 to 18 month duration.

Using PRP alongside our K-Laser, we have found some brilliant recoveries so please get in touch if this is something you are interested in.