Platelet rich plasma or PRP is an innovative treatment in sports and orthopaedic medicine that uses your own blood for healing muscle, tendon and ligament injuries. A small amount of your blood is spun in a centrifuge and the platelets are separated from the rest of the blood. The concentrated platelets are then removed from the spun blood and can then be used to inject into the areas that are inflamed. The PRP is rich in anti-inflammatory cells and have been safely used for many years in treating areas of inflammation. This plasma contains a high concentration of your own body growth fractures which are injected into your injured tissue and initiates your body’s natural healing response.
PRP can be used to treat conditions of the joints which arise as a result of inflammation in the joint or as an adjunct to help tissue to heal. Typical inflammatory conditions that may be treated include early osteoarthritis, runners knee and swelling following recent injury. It has also shown to be effective as an adjunct to surgery in aiding tissue to heal such as meniscal repairs and ACL reconstructions in the knee.
The procedure typically takes 20 minutes to perform. A sample of blood is taken from a vein in the arm and once this has been spun, the PRP is separated from the rest of the sample. The part of the body to be treated will be prepared and under aseptic conditions your surgeon will inject the PRP into the area. Once inside the knee, the solution will spread to all parts of the joint to take effect on the area of concern. While PRP can be injected as a single injection, it is recommended to complete a course of three to get the full benefits from it.