Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) is a form of regenerative medicine that helps to enhance the natural growth factors your body uses to heal tissue.
What is plasma and what are platelets?
Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood. It is made up of different components which mostly include water and proteins. It provides a platform for red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets to circulate through the body. Platelets are blood cells that cause blood clots and other different growth healing functions in the body.
The activation of platelets has a large influence on the body’s ability to repair.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves injecting a high concentration of an individual’s own platelets to speed up the healing of injured ligaments, muscles, tendons, and joints. PRP injections use the body’s own healing mechanisms to repair musculoskeletal problems.
A PRP injection is prepared by collecting one or several tubes of an individual’s own blood and then placing it in a centrifuge. The centrifuge helps to concentrate the platelets. The platelets are then injected directly into the area that requires healing. After injection, the platelets stimulate the release of growth factors which assist in the repair process.
One of the main benefits of PRP is that the risk of an allergic reaction is the lowest of all injections within medicine, as you are injecting a substance from your own body. The following risks can be associated with PRP therapy:
Temporary nerve damage
Bruising at the site of the injection
After a PRP injection, it is okay to continue with your daily activities. It is not recommended to perform high-intensity exercise activities for two weeks following the treatment.
The full effect of the injection can take up to several months to be felt. As the aim of the treatment is to repair, the effect is often lasting. Maximum results are normally achieved at between 6-9 months.
PRP injections aren’t generally painful. Any pain experienced is only temporary. The site of the injection is thoroughly numbed before the injection to ensure maximum comfort during the procedure.
The success rate depends on the condition or injury being treated. On average PRP treatment has an 80% success rate.
One to three injections are required to achieve optimum results.
If you require more than one injection then they should be performed one month apart from each other.
It is okay to walk after an injection but it is not advised to walk more than you would normally walk in a day.
PRP treatment has shown to be effective for mild to moderate osteoarthritis. It can still be effective for severe arthritis but only if it is combined with a tailored exercise program to strengthen the muscle around the knee. This is something we provide at our clinic alongside the injections.