What is Platelet Rich Fibrin?
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is a type of biomaterial extracted from the blood that has a larger concentration of platelets, white blood cells, and stem cells than normal blood. It differs from platelet-rich plasma as it contains fibrin, an insoluble protein matrix, that helps to keep platelets in place around an injury.
What is Platelet Rich Fibrin Therapy?
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) therapy is the newest addition to the field of regenerative medicine. It involves the injection of platelet-rich fibrin derived from your own blood to optimize the healing of wounds and injuries. It is considered a more advanced alternative to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as it has a higher concentration of platelets and in many cases, PRF is replacing steroid injections due to its longer-lasting effects and its lower risk profile.
Procedure for Platelet Rich Fibrin Therapy
- The process for collecting PRF is quite simple. The doctor will draw a sample of blood from you. The whole blood sample is centrifuged to separate the platelets and plasma from the remaining cells in the blood.
- The concentration of platelets in this platelet and plasma mixture is several times higher than in the human body.
- Under ultrasound or fluoroscopy supervision, the PRF is drawn into a syringe and injected into the target location of tissue damage.
- Hundreds of growth factors are found in platelets, which help to reduce local inflammation and mend wounded tissue. When PRF is injected into areas of tissue injury, the time it takes for the tissue to repair is substantially reduced.
Post Procedure Care for Platelet Rich Fibrin Therapy
Postprocedure care includes the following:
- You may experience discomfort at the injection site for which a cold compress can be used.
- You are advised to rest for one day after the procedure and limit use for the injected area for 2 days.
- You may be requested to wear a brace or use crutches to offload the joint or spine region that was treated for a few days. Gradually increase activities thereafter as per your doctor’s instructions.
Risks of Platelet Rich Fibrin Therapy
As the platelet-rich-fibrin is obtained from your own body, there are hardly any adverse effects from the procedure. However, there is a minimal risk of pain, swelling, and infection at the injection site.