Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are used to accelerate healing following a tendon injury. They belong to an emerging field of healthcare called Orthobiologics, which combines the body’s natural ability to heal with new technologies. The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues stimulates your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing.

Blood is made up of red and white blood cells, plasma and platelets. As well as helping your blood to clot, platelets release growth factors, which can be used to encourage healing in soft tissue (tendon and ligament) injuries.

PLATLET RICH-PLASMA (PRP) INJECTIONS

What are they used for?

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are used to accelerate healing following a tendon injury. They belong to an emerging field of healthcare called Orthobiologics, which combines the body’s natural ability to heal with new technologies. The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues stimulates your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing.

Blood is made up of red and white blood cells, plasma and platelets. As well as helping your blood to clot, platelets release growth factors, which can be used to encourage healing in soft tissue (tendon and ligament) injuries.

PRP injections contain concentrated platelets taken from the patient’s own blood. When these are injected into your body they:

  • initiate tissue repair and regeneration
  • promote the development of new blood vessels
  • stimulate healing.

The treatment is used to treat tendon and ligament injuries that have failed to heal after a period of rest and rehabilitation. It is safer and less invasive than surgery and there is less risk of scarring and infection. It usually takes weeks to months to see the full benefits take effect in conjunction with physiotherapy rehabilitation.

PRP injections are used to treat:

  • Chronic tendinopathy or ligament injury
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Patella or quadriceps tendinosis
  • Achilles’ tendinosis
  • Tennis or golfer’s elbow
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Lateral hip pain and gluteal tendinopathy

What to expect

You will undergo an ultrasound (USS) scan beforehand to determine the nature and extent of the soft tissue injury and to discuss your suitability for PRP injections.

During the treatment, a sample of blood will be taken from your arm similar to a blood test. This is then put into a centrifuge and spun for upto 15 minutes to separate the blood and remove everything except the platelet cells and growth factors.

Once the PRP has been extracted it is injected into the injured area using USS  to guide the needle. The radiologist watches the needle on a screen and once it is in the target structure, the injection will be administered. Local anaesthetic is often not used with PRP injections as constituents within local anaesthetic can degrade PRP and ultimately counteract the purpose of PRP injections.

It is fine to eat and drink as normal before an USS-guided injection. Wear loose comfortable clothing.

Aftercare

Afterwards you will be advised to rest for a few minutes before being allowed to go home. You may experience a worsening of pain in the injured area for three or four days after the treatment, during which time you should rest as much as possible. You can take painkillers but avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen for at least 10-14 days.

The risks of an allergic reaction are very small as the blood is taken from your own body however there is some risk of infection, nerve injury or tissue damage.

You may not notice an immediate improvement as PRP injections promote healing rather than providing immediate relief from symptoms. However, over the next few weeks or months the area should begin to heal faster than it would have done without the PRP injection.

Here is an animation video showing you what you can expect during Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

Prompt testing accurate diagnosis Expert care

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