What are growth factors?
The so-called “Growth Factors” are proteins that our own cells produce and that are in charge of stimulating cell proliferation and maintaining their survival and balance in the organism.
Platelet Rich Plasma or Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF) is a preparation obtained after a centrifugation process of the patient’s own blood, thanks to which specific growth factors are released.
The application of growth factors stimulates and accelerates the healing and regeneration processes of most of the tissues that make up our body.
What injuries can be treated with growth factors?
It is a technique with possibilities of application in many muscular (fibrillar rupture), tendon (tendinopathy, degenerative partial rupture, epicondylitis, fasciitis), ligament and joint (chondropathy, initial osteoarthritis, sprain, meniscus repair) pathologies.
How are PRGF infiltrations performed?
To infiltrate PRGF, the first step is to obtain blood from the patient through a conventional extraction process. Subsequently, this small amount of blood is treated and centrifuged to isolate the fraction with the highest concentration of platelets, which will contain the growth factors.
To complete the process, the compound that has been obtained is administered to the patient through a direct infiltration applied to the injured area or introduced under direct vision by means of arthroscopy. Sometimes it may be necessary for the infiltration to be performed in the operating room and with light sedation.
How many are performed?
Generally a single infiltration is enough for most cases, but in some locations and in severe cases it is advisable to apply 2 or 3, leaving a period of about 2 weeks between each of them.
What is the recovery time?
The patient’s symptoms begin to be relieved 4 or 5 weeks after the first infiltration. From that moment on, the discomfort gradually subsides. The patient should be aware that since it is a biological therapy and not a drug therapy, it is necessary for some time to pass for its action and therefore the improvement is not completely immediate.
Can there be complications?
Occasionally there may be occasional, self-limited discomfort at the puncture site or in the joints. As the PRFG is composed of the patient’s own blood and no external component is added, it is not possible to develop rejection or allergy when implanted. Furthermore, as it is a drug-free biological therapy, there are no contraindications related to its administration.