PRP vs. PRF: What’s the Difference?

At Spine & Joint Solutions, we are proud to offer the newest and most exciting addition to the field of regenerative medicine. Up to this point, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been the only platelet-based product offered for treatment of tissue damage. More recently, platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) has emerged as a more advanced and effective product in the world of musculoskeletal care, as well as within anesthetic medicine.

PRP vs PRF: What’s the difference?
Although there are some basic similarities between platelet-rich plasma and platelet-rich fibrin, it is the differences between these two products that makes platelet-rich fibrin stand out as a superior treatment option. Both of these products require blood to be taken from the patient. PRP requires more blood to be taken than PRF. Both of the products require the whole blood sample to be placed into a centrifuge, where the blood is then processed to help separate the blood into distinct layers. Platelet-rich plasma is spun at a higher speed, which effectively causes all of the heavier cells in the blood, such as white blood cells and stem cells, to collect in the bottom part of the test tube and allows the lighter platelets and plasma to collect in the top part of the test tube. The platelets and plasma are then collected from the upper part of the test tube and injected into the region with tissue damage. However, newer research is showing that a platelet product that has an even higher concentration of platelets, as well as a concentration of some white blood cells and stem cells, is even more effective than traditional platelet-rich plasma. With this new information, platelet-rich fibrin was created. The PRF product is spun at a lower speed so that the layers of the blood do not separate out as distinctly. This allows some of the white blood cells and stem cells to remain within the platelet layer that is collected for treatment. Thus, there are more healing factors within PRF than is typically seen in PRP. In addition, the lower spin speed causes less trauma to the individual cells of the blood, allowing more stem cells to remain in the final PRF product.

Another distinct difference between platelet-rich plasma and platelet-rich fibrin is the concentration of platelets within the final product. Literature states that an ideal concentration of platelets for a platelet rich plasma sample is between 2-5 times the level of platelets typically found within the body. Newer literature now points out that an even higher concentration of platelets may be even more effective in the treatment of tissue damage. Platelet-rich fibrin products contain approximately 10 times the platelet concentration that is found within the body.

A final difference worth mentioning between platelet-rich plasma and platelet-rich fibrin is the fact that with PRF, no anticoagulant is used during the processing of the blood. With platelet-rich plasma, the blood that is collected is placed in test tubes that have an anticoagulant called acid citrate dextrose (ACD), which keeps the blood product from clotting too quickly. In an effort to keep the platelet product as natural as possible, the platelet-rich fibrin test tubes do not have any anticoagulant within them. Without any anticoagulant in the test tubes, the natural fibrinogen within our blood is converted to fibrin by thrombin in the early stages of clot formation. This creates a spongy fibrin matrix that activates the platelets and allows for a slow release of growth factors, which starts the tissue healing process.

needle in shoulder of skeleton

Effective PRP Therapy in Colorado Springs

Anyone that has participated in sports, either amateur or professional, can tell you that while they love the game, they don’t like the injuries that come along with it. It can be very frustrating when an injured muscle or pulled tendon that keeps you off the court or the field for an extended period of time. At Spine and Joint Solutions, our sports medicine expertise can help you heal faster, as well as better, letting you get back to the game you love. One effective method that we employ is platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy.

PRP therapy has been around for some time and essentially uses the body’s own resources – in this case the blood – to heal itself. The platelets found in your blood are separated in a centrifuge after a blood draw is taken, and since the platelets have a higher concentration of growth factors, they can help a muscle or tendon heal faster when injected into the proper spot. Platelet rich therapy has proven effective in treating those with Achilles tendon injuries, as well as those suffering from lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow.

Muscle injuries, whether major or minor, can be discouraging, especially when they keep you from playing the sports you love. At Spine and Joint Solutions, we want to help your body heal and we’ve found that PRP therapy is a powerful remedy to injury. Since it’s your own blood that’s used, there’s very little risk of reaction, and if the PRP treatments are paired with a physical therapy program, you’ll be back on the field in no time.

Run Without Pain with Sports Medicine in Colorado Springs

With a new season about to begin, you’re probably excited to get out and enjoy the warmer weather. If you run, bike, or climb, it can be very frustrating when pain slows you down. If you’re experiencing pain in your lower leg or heel, it could be a sign of Achilles tendonitis. Spine and Joint Solutions in Colorado Springs can provide sports medicine for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts that don’t want to miss out on the first few weeks of great weather.

Achilles tendonitis usually occurs in the middle or lower portion of the tendon and it can cause severe pain and inflammation. Runners are most susceptible to it and only through proper treatment can they hope to restore mobility and reduce the pain caused by Achilles tendonitis. We will discuss all of your treatment options with you, including anti-inflammatory medications, topical agents, physical therapy, and injections. One option is platelet-rich plasma therapy, which can reduce the pain and inflammation in the tendon. This can often be a safer choice than a steroid injection.

Dealing with a sports injury is never pleasant, especially when the weather turns nice and you want to be outside, running or cycling. At Spine and Joint Solutions, we know how you feel and we want to help you literally get back on your feet. If your Achilles tendon is bothering you, come to us for sports medicine treatment in Colorado Springs and we’ll provide the proper care. Make an appointment online or call us at 719-282-7850.

How Can Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Benefit You?

At Spine & Joint Solutions, we’re constantly trying to improve our care and provide the best therapy for every patient that walks through our door. We know that not every therapy or method is going to work on an individual patient, so that’s why we learn as much about you and your condition or injury before we proceed. One such method that has proven effective for many patients is our platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. In Colorado Springs and beyond, people have seen dramatic improvements in tissue recovery.

PRP therapy is fairly simple – we begin by drawing blood, and then place it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and the plasma from the other cells. We then inject this now platelet-rich sample of blood into the affected tissue area, where it can work to heal and repair the damage. More than one injection may be necessary, but results show up within weeks and your recovery time is drastically reduced. As with any procedure that we perform, you’ll be completely informed and educated on what is taking place and what you can expect.

If you have damaged tissue, our platelet-rich plasma therapy in Colorado Springs may be exactly what the doctor ordered. We want you to feel confident that your body will heal, and will gladly answer any questions that you have along the way. We’re not here to administer a universal remedy to your condition – we’re here to listen and provide exceptional care that’s designed to treat your unique situation.

Facet Joint Injections in Colorado Springs

For those dealing with back pain, it can be very aggravating to visit a chiropractor or medical provider and come away without feeling any better. You may have found temporary relief, but your pain always comes back, perhaps even worse than before. At Spine & Joint Solutions in Colorado Springs, our back pain treatment is designed to relieve your discomfort at the source, providing you with peace of mind that your pain has finally subsided.

One possible cause of your back pain is a problem with the facet joints in your spine. Facet joints are small stabilizing joints that are found between and behind the vertebrae in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. You might be experiencing localized pain or decreased flexibility and motion due to irritation in the facet joints, and we will inject them with a mixture of Lidocaine and a steroid that will act together to decrease the irritation and provide you with much-needed relief. Depending on your diagnosis, we may also opt to provide the facet joints with platelet-rich plasma therapy or stem cell treatments.

You’ve been seeking long-lasting back pain treatment for some time now, and even though you might think it’s hopeless, you can get help. To learn more about our facet joint injections and other treatments in Colorado Springs, stop by our clinic at 4105 Briargate Parkway, Suite 245, or give us a call at 719-282-7827. Our staff will be more than happy to speak with you about your concerns, and schedule an appointment time that works for you.

Relief for Your Joint Pain in Colorado Springs

Dealing with joint pain can be very frustrating, and if you’ve been suffering with it for some time now, it’s important that you find relief as soon as possible. At Spine & Joint Solutions in Colorado Springs, we want to help you find that elusive relief and with our effective treatment, you’ll be able to regain full range of motion and flexibility in your troublesome joints. Whether you’re struggling with tennis elbow, a rotator cuff injury, or trigger finger, we can help.

Many people have heard of tennis elbow, or perhaps have experienced it at some point in their life, but persistent lateral epicondylitis – the medical term for tennis elbow – can be very painful. Inflamed tendons on the outer portion of the elbow can make extending the arm and wrist very painful. With the proper treatment, patients will begin to see improvement. Sometimes a brace is necessary, and this will help the tendons and muscles rest and recover from the inflammation. If conservative care doesn’t prove effective, we will discuss further options, such as platelet-rich plasma therapy.

Joint pain can severely affect your life, so if you’re seeking treatment in Colorado Springs, come to Spine & Joint Solutions right away. Our team will discuss all of your options with you regarding treatment and therapy, and we’ll make sure you’re completely comfortable before we proceed with anything. You don’t have to live with discomfort and pain, or miss out on the things you love because of them. Make an appointment with us and we’ll help your pain go away.