(HealthDay News) — PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy is a relatively new treatment for pain, the American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine says.

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It has shown promise, the association says, for treating ailments including osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip and spine; rotator cuff tears; chronic plantar fasciitis; and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.

The association explains how the therapy works:

  • Doctors draw a sample of the patient’s blood and place it in a centrifuge where it will be spun at high speeds to separate the platelets from other blood components.
  • The concentrated platelets are then injected back into the point of injury to jump-start the healing process.
  • The platelets initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of stem cells.
  • The injections take about 2 hours and can be done in a doctor’s office.
  • Up to three PRP injections may be given within six months.
  • Improvement may be seen within a few weeks.
  • Ultrasound and MRI images have shown tissue repair after PRP therapy.

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