Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is a modality we use to treat soft tissue tendon and ligament injuries. Platelets are an excellent source of growth factors, which are healing proteins that can accelerate the tissue and wound healing process. Not only can PRP accelerate the healing process, it can improve the regenerative process by decreasing the amount of scar tissue formed. Decreasing the amount of scar tissue will help the tendon or ligament return to a normal function. A blood sample is drawn from your horse and processed to separate out, and concentrate, the platelets apart from the other blood cells. It can then be injected intralesionally into the injured tendon or ligament. Complications of this injection are rare, due to the fact that it is an autologous product, which has come directly from the patient. PRP can also be used topically to treat non-healing wounds.
It is always important to follow up PRP injections with ultrasound rechecks to monitor the healing process and help make the decision of when it is time to return your horse to work. This treatment does not replace non-steroidal anti inflammatory therapy or rest. Other modalities, such as laser therapy, can be used in conjunction with the PRP injections to receive the full benefits of the treatment.