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What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma therapy—a treatment for aiding the regeneration of ligament and tendon injuries—is helping to shorten rehabilitation time and often eliminates the need for surgery. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is part of a relatively new field of medicine known as orthobiologics that includes the use of stem cells and emphasizes employing the latest technologies along with the body's natural ability to heal itself. "One of our major goals is to make healing time faster for patients with soft tissue injuries," says Christopher S. Ahmad, MD, Director, Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. "For example, a patient undergoing elbow ligament reconstructive surgery, commonly referred to as Tommy John surgery, may take a year to recover. That's a long time. Recovery time for anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] surgery is approximately six months. So while we are very good at performing surgery to correct these injuries, we're now accelerating the healing by biologic manipulation. That's where platelet-rich plasma comes in."

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