What is PRP?

Platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) is an autologous blood product defining plasma with higher-than-baseline values of platelets when compared with whole blood. Platelets are the granules in our blood, and with the PRP preparation, they are concentrated in higher amounts using centrifuge devices and red blood cells are separated from the blood, resulting in the 'plasma'. 

The platelet-rich-plasma contains high concentrations of growth factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor, transforming growth factor beta, epidermal growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, and platelet-derived growth factor. These growth factors serve to promote local new blood vessel formation, modulate inflammation, inhibit catabolic enzymes and cytokines, and recruit local stem cells and fibroblasts to sites of damage. (1)

There is level 1 scientific evidence that suggests PRP can help with symptoms of osteoarthritis. (1) 

Similarly, PRP provided better symptom relief than no treatment or cortisone injections managing tendinopathy. (2)

PRP seems to be more beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis (heel spurs) at 12 months when compared to cortisone injections. (3)

How does the PRP get prepared? 

To prepare the PRP, your blood is withdrawn into special tubes and centrifuged. After the centrifuge, PRP is separated from the whole blood and withdrawn into a syringe, ready to be injected. 

How is it administered?

Dr Gozubuyuk uses Ultrasound to target the injections, whether it is a joint or tendon. A local anaesthetic is injected into your skin, and then under direct visualisation with Ultrasound, the needle is inserted, and injection administered. 

What should I look for after the injection? 

You will be given post-injection instructions after your injection, and instructions depend on the area treated. 

Is there anything I can do to get prepared for the PRP injection?

Always consider someone to assist you on the day of injection, returning home safely and comfortably. Avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen or similar) minimum of 3 days upcoming to your appointment. You can continue taking paracetamol if you have been using already.

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References

  1. Dai, W.L., et al., Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arthroscopy, 2017. 33(3): p. 659-670.e1.

  2. Miller, L.E., et al., Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma injections for symptomatic tendinopathy: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised injection-controlled trials. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 2017. 3(1): p. e000237.

  3. Ling, Y. and S. Wang, Effects of platelet-rich plasma in the treatment of plantar fasciitis: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Medicine, 2018. 97(37): p. e12110-e12110