PRP • PLATELET RICH PLASMA THERAPY

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) is a natural treatment, using the patient’s own plasma to treat a range of conditions. It has proven to be especially effective at reducing the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and to enhance and speed up healing in muscle and tendon injuries.

What is PRP treatment?

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy or PRP is a natural injection treatment, using the body’s platelets to treat numerous conditions. In terms of joint arthritis, the aim of the treatment is to reduce pain and stiffness, as well as aid in the repair of the cartilage.

The platelets within the body contain unique growth factors. These can be used to stimulate the cells within the joint lining, causing the cartilage to begin repairing itself. PRP injections contain a high concentration of these platelets, taken from the patient’s body before being reinjected into the affected area.

When might PRP be used?

PRP treatment can be used for a variety of conditions. Some of the main reasons a patient may be recommended the treatment include:

  • When there has been little improvement with conventional conservative treatments
  • Severe joint pain
  • Unsuitability for joint replacement
  • Where there is a rupture or tear of the tendon
  • tendinitis
  • To avoid or delay surgery

PRP in Sports Medicine

PRP treatment can be used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal sports injuries. The concentrated platelets contain a high level of growth factors, used to stop the degeneration of tendons, bone, tissue and skin. As producing PRP is both quick and easy, it’s proven to be a particularly effective biological treatment option. It’s an innovative treatment which has started to become popular within the sports medicine sector, used to treat sports players around the world.

The treatment can be used in the repair of a vast range of conditions including, but not limited to, shoulder impingement, Achilles tendinopathy, elbow epicondylitis and rotator cuff tears. As well as potentially avoiding the need for surgery when used early enough, PRP can also be used alongside surgery to enhance healing.

What is a PRP injection?

PRP injections use the components within a patient’s blood to stimulate healing. First, we take a sample of blood, then place it into a centrifuge device. The device extracts the platelets from the blood, which we then inject into the affected area. This is done via ultrasound guidance and once in the body, the proteins within the platelets get to work at repairing the site.

Which conditions can be treated with PRP?

PRP treatment can be used to effectively treat numerous degenerative conditions and sports injuries. Just some of the conditions it is frequently used for include:

  • Chronic tendinopathies
  • Tendon tears
  • Injuries to the ligaments
  • Acute strains and tears of the muscles

How does PRP work?

Once injected into the affected area, the growth factors within the platelets trigger the immune system to start repairing the damage. This leads to a strengthening of the surrounding tissues, as well as helping to restore the proteins within the ligaments and tendons.

Why choose PRP treatment?

PRP treatment is a minimally invasive option, enabling a patient to potentially avoid surgery. Compared to surgery, it also boasts a faster, less risky recovery period.

Does PRP hurt?

While the injections themselves are not overly painful, patients can experience some soreness after treatment. This is caused by an inflammatory response to the injection, which can also result in swelling. These symptoms will usually persist no longer than 48 hours. Pain medication can be used in order to relieve any pain and discomfort during this time.

How long does PRP take to work?

The majority of patients will experience results within two to six weeks. Pain will gradually subside with each passing day. Clinical trials have shown that full improvement can be expected within six to nine months.

Is PRP safe?

As PRP uses the body’s own platelets, it is considered a safe, natural treatment. However, like any injection, there are some very small risks associated with the treatment. The main risk identified is infection. As the platelets being injected aren’t a foreign body, patients don’t need to worry about disease transmission and the body is also unlikely to reject the platelets.

When might PRP be unsuitable?

PRP is safe to use on the majority of patients. However, those suffering from cancer, or with extreme anaemia, a systemic infection or those who experience abnormal function in the platelets, will not be suitable for PRP treatment.

What post-treatment care is required?

Patients will need to attend a follow-up appointment approximately three months after the treatment. Ongoing care and support will be provided via the clinic and helpline.

PRP is a relatively new and exciting treatment option. It is continuously being improved and as it is, it becomes suitable to be used for a wider range of conditions.

If you would like more information about the PRP treatment for your condition or would like to make an appointment. Please click on the Get in Touch button and our friendly and responsive team will be delighted to chat.

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