Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons and muscles. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient’s own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems.
How long does it take to work?
PRP does not offer quick pain relief. Pain gradually subsides as the injured tissue repairs and pain relieving factors activate. This can take weeks or months, but when successful, the effect is lasting. If relief is not sufficient at 3 months, a second injection may be performed.
What is the process?
After a referral from your doctor, a consultation with the radiologist will take place along with physical examination and review of your imaging to determine if PRP injection is appropriate. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s) including Nurofen, Voltaren, Mobic must be stopped 10 days prior to the procedure because these interfere with platelet production by the bone marrow
A quantity (up to 20mls) of autologous blood will be extracted by venesection, usually from an arm vein. The blood will be centrifuged for up to 15 minutes. The PRP is separated from the red blood cells and injected under US guidance to the area of injury.
What can I expect following the procedure?
Following the injection, you may experience some localised bruising and discomfort which can be relieved with compression ice packs and non-prescription analgesia. The effects of the injection may not be noted for 4-6 weeks following the procedure as the regenerative benefits from the platelets act upon the affected area.
Given the injection involves an autologous substance (derived from your own body) the risk of reaction and adverse effects are extremely minimal making the PRP injection a safe alternative to other pain management and reparative therapies.
Depending on the desired approach, a rehabilitation program may be provided to you by your referring doctor or physiotherapist which may be undertaken following the procedure. Follow up injections may also be performed if required, with the number and time frame being determined in consultation with your doctor.