Platelets, long recognized for their role in clot formation, have recently been shown to contain high concentrations of growth factors that influence cell proliferation at the site of injury. The clot forms a scaffold for healing while the growth factors call in the cells necessary to reconstruct damaged tissues. When injected into an injured structure such as a torn tendon, PRP promotes organized remodeling of the damaged tendon yielding a more functional structure and reducing convalescence.
PRP is derived from blood drawn from the horse and processed with a centrifuge. This yields a portion of blood with a platelet concentration roughly 5.5 times richer than whole blood.
With ultrasound guidance, PRP is injected directly into injured sites in the standing sedated horse. Monthly follow-up ultrasound is performed to monitor progress, but many injuries heal following one injection. PRP also shows promise in treatment of severe joint disease and has been used to enhance healing of selected external wounds.