ACP Treatment (Autologous Conditioned Plasma) | PRP Therapy (Platelet Rich Plasma)
The ACP (Autologous Conditioned Plasma) or PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). therapy are today promising treatment methods that promote the body's own healing factors, meaning the natural self-healing of tissue. These therapies are effective for a large number of overuse injuries, injuries, and degenerative disease and for an accelerated healing following surgery. The ACP or PRP therapy does not have any side effects.
Many serious illnesses or injuries of the human body are healing by themselves, e.g. without medical intervention. The concept behind this tendency of “natural self-healing” is an extreme complex biological system. Science is currently searching for answers to better understand this phenomenon.
The phenomenal potential of natural healing, meaning healing without medical intervention, e.g. medication and surgery, takes advantage of the autohemotherapy (therapy with the patient’s own blood). The treatment appears to be particularly effective with autologous blood components such as ACP and PRP.
What is an ACP Therapy?
Basis for ACP or PRP treatment, now used for ten years with increasing success, is the knowledge that wound healing factors in a certain concentration are present in the blood plasma and the platelets also called thrombocytes (blood clot cells).
Specifically, these healing factors that are firstly growth factors leading to an improved regeneration of cells increase the production of collagen and improve the blood supply to the tissues. Secondly, they are anti-inflammatory factors that contribute to the reduction of tissue inflammation in case of degenerative processes and injuries.
The exact processes of the body's own healing are currently not fully understood. However, numerous studies* have evidenced the effectiveness and the broad areas of application in which the ACP or PRP therapy is used in support of natural healing processes.
What is the process of an ACP therapy?
The principle of treatment with autologous blood components such as the ACP or PRP therapy is that in a first step a small amount of autologous blood is taken from the patient arm vein. In a second step blood plasma and platelets extracted from this autologous blood using centrifugation. The extracted blood plasma and platelets retain the relevant autologous growth-promoting growth and anti-inflammatory elements.
Immediately following, the resulting plasma (ACP or PRP) with its highly concentrated healing factors is injected into the affected joint or the diseased structure.
The treatment is generally administered three to four times per week at weekly intervals. Since ACP or PRP is prepared from the patient’s own blood, the treatment carries a low risk; in fact, incompatibilities or allergic reactions do not exist.
Areas of application for an ACP or PRP therapy:
Overuse injuries and injuries of tendons
- Tennis-elbow, golfer's elbow
- Patellar tendonitis
- Achilles tendon irritation
- Tendonitis rotator cuff shoulder
- Runners knee
Overuse injuries and injuries of muscles
- Muscle strain
- Muscle contusion
- Torn muscle fiber
- Torn muscle bundle
Studies have shown that ACP or PRP therapies are clearly more effective, for example when treating a tennis elbow, than an injection of cortisone. In addition, there are no side effects because ACP or PRP are endogenous substances.
Supporting the healing process following surgery
The ACP and PRP therapy often leads to uncomplicated and faster healing process following surgery of the musculoskeletal system. Specific benefits are reduced blood flow, reduced post-operative swelling, and less pain after surgery.
Joint degeneration, cartilage damage, osteoarthritis
In case of cartilage damage, e.g. early and moderate osteoarthritis, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Diclofenac, Ibuprofen or steroids are generally used in combination with physical and physiotherapeutic measures. Joint injections with hyaluronic acid are also frequently used to enhance the lubricity of the rough articular surfaces. Osteoarthritis related conditions can also be treated with ACP and PRP therapies and improve the patient’s quality of life. The ACP or PRP therapy reduces inflammation and thus alleviates pain and improves the mobility of the affected joint. Additionally, the therapy has a positive effect on the cartilage cells and the underlying bone. Furthermore, arthritis can also be cured using modern biotechnological methods of treatment such as an ACP or PRP therapy.
Scientific studies of ACP and PRP therapies
- CERA et al. American Journal of Sports Medicine 2012
- DEANS et al. Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery 2012
- PEERBOOMS et al. American Journal of Sports Medicine 2010
- WON BOM LIN et al. Sports Orthopedics and Traumatology 2015
Specialists: Degenerative Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Overuse Injuries
For an optimal treatment of joint degeneration, cartilage damage, and osteoarthritis, the knee experts at the Klinik am Ring are particularly well-qualified. Stefan Preis, M.D. and Jörg Schroeder, M.D., senior physicians at the Practice and Department of Orthopedics and Sports Traumatology at the Klinik am Ring in Cologne, specialize together with their team in the treatment of joint disorders and sport injuries. In 2004, they founded the WEST GERMAN SHOULDER KNEE & CENTER, Cologne. The team consisting of eight specialists treats more than 10,000 patients with joint disorders per year, whereby degenerative arthritis and sport injuries are the disorders most often treated.