Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a promising solution to naturally accelerate healing of tendon injuries/degeneration and osteoarthritis, without subjecting patients to significant risk. PRP therapy aims to merge cutting-edge technology with the body’s natural ability to heal. PRP injections may assist in easing pain and symptoms for:
• Tennis elbow
• Golfer’s elbow
• Knee tendonitis
• Rotator cuff tears
• Achilles tendonitis
• Plantar fasciitis
Using the patient’s own blood, specially prepared platelets are taken and then re-injected into the affected area under ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy. These platelets release substances known as “growth factors” that lead to tissue healing. For example, when you cut yourself the body’s natural response is to attract platelets that release growth factors and facilitate the healing. By concentrating the platelets, we increase the release of growth factors that promote the healing of tendons and cartilage.
The human body has a remarkable ability to heal itself; by re-injecting concentrated platelets we are facilitating the natural healing process. Patients may see significant improvement in symptoms and a return of function.
No anti-inflammatories 1 week before or after
What happens during the procedure
An MRI, CT or musculoskeletal ultrasound may be performed prior to the injection to ensure a proper diagnosis and exclude any condition that would be better treated surgically.
Depending on the condition, a series of 1-3 injections may be required, separated by approximately 6-8 weeks.
How long does it take?
The PRP injection usually takes approximately 30 minutes. This includes taking blood, preparing it in the centrifuge and then a quick injection of your platelet preparation into the affected area under imaging guidance.
After your examination
The procedure may initially cause some localised soreness and discomfort. This discomfort can continue for several days. Paracetamol can be taken to help relieve this, rather than anti-inflammatory medication.
Patients may apply ice and elevation as needed.
This treatment is not a “quick fix” and is designed to promote long-term healing. The process of PRP requires time and rehabilitation. Patients who follow a course of physical therapy are likely to see the most improvement in the affected area. PRP accelerates and shortens the recovery process in chronic injuries and new acute injuries.
Your images and report
PRP has been shown to be safe as derived from the patient’s own blood and is not thought to have any carcinogenic potential, risk of rejection or risk of disease transmission. The injection procedure itself carries a small risk of infection.