Growth factors in sports medical conditions


Blood is made up of four major components: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma (lymph), and platelets. The “cellular” portion of blood is composed of red blood cells (91 percent), platelets (6 percent), and white blood cells (1 percent). Plasma is the straw-colored medium within which all the other components are suspended. Plasma is what that allows blood to be fluid. Without plasma, the heart couldn’t pump the remaining slurry of red cells, white cells, platelets, hormones, and other molecules.

For most people, the only time we are aware of plasma is when we have a skin abrasion. As a child, you probably noticed a sticky yellow gel that formed at the edges of a scar when you skinned your elbows or knees – that’s plasma.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a specific portion of your plasma that is separated from a vial of your blood in a centrifuge. PRP contains an unusually high concentration of platelets (5-10 times the number in normal blood), hence the name.

Platelets are cell-like organelles (cells without a nucleus) that are essential to blood clotting. Platelets also accelerate the wound healing process on a cellular level by signaling local stem cells to increase the production of new tissues (proliferation), which tissues (differentiation), directing the movement of these newly formed cells (chemotaxis), their shape (morphogenesis), the formation of new capillaries and vessels (angiogenesis).

Recent data indicates that platelets release a pulse of bioactive glycoproteins — commonly called “growth factors” (or more specifically as chemokines and cytokines). These bioactive proteins are responsible for signaling your body’s microscopic repair mechanisms that is time to take action.

Because PRP therapy involves using your body’s own plasma, there is virtually no possibility of rejection or an allergic reaction. Likewise, since nothing foreign is being injected, the risk of infection is extremely low, especially since platelets are part of the body’s defense mechanism against unwanted microbes like bacteria and viruses.

There are also no know systemic (side) effects from PRP therapy, although it is normal to feel pain and swelling near the injection sites. This is part of the body’s healing process. This pain and inflammation usually peaks within 24 hours and disappears after a couple of days.

Reasons to consider PRP therapy

• Extremely effective
• Minimal down time (if any)
• Very low risk of complications and systemic effects
• Short recovery time
• No surgery or implants, so the results look natural
• Longer lasting results
• Accelerated and enhanced healing process
• Reduced trauma and inflammation
• Cost effective treatment

How it’s done?
• The patient is subjected to a venous blood sample;
• The blood, using our own Centrifuge is separated into its constituents;
• The plasma and platelets that contain growth factors are isolated and concentrated;
• The preparation is infiltrated locally in area to be treated.


When it’s done?
The diseases that can be treated with the growth factors are:

• Arthritis and other lesions of the cartilage (osteochondritis, etc.)
• Pseudarthrosis, delayed union bone;
• Tendinitis (acute and chronic)
• Tendinopathy (acute and chronic)
• Injuries and muscular traumas (strains, sprains, etc.)
• Traumatic lesions of ligaments.

PRP can be used in most individuals between 18 and 80; however, if you have any of the following conditions, you should consult your physician before receiving PRP therapy.

• Abnormal Platelet Function (blood disorder)
• Cancer and/or Chemotherapy
• Blood Clotting Disorder
• Chronic or Acute infections
• Fever
• Sepsis
• Severe metabolic and/or system disorder
• Skin disease
• Anti coagulation therapies
• Chronic Liver problems
• Recent use of Corticosteroids