Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection: A Guide for Patients
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection is a medical procedure that utilizes the growth factors found in a patient's own blood to promote healing and tissue repair. It has been used for decades in various fields, including orthopedics and sports medicine, to treat injuries and conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. In this page, we will explore the benefits, risks, and considerations of PRP injection.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma Injection?
PRP injection is a minimally invasive procedure that involves extracting a sample of a patient's blood and processing it in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets and growth factors. The resulting PRP solution is then injected into the affected area, where it can stimulate tissue healing and regeneration.
PRP injection is used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, including osteoarthritis, tendonitis, ligament injuries, and muscle strains. It can also be used to aid in post-surgical recovery, reduce inflammation, and improve joint mobility.
What To Expect During the Procedure
The PRP injection procedure typically takes less than an hour, and you can go home the same day. It is performed in an outpatient setting.
You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the point of entry to the area where the injection will be administered.
After the injection, you may experience some swelling and discomfort at the injection site. This is normal, and will typically subside within a few days. You should avoid strenuous activity for the first few days, and may need to take pain medication like paracetamol. You should avoid taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and aspirin. If you have any concerns about getting adequate painkillers before the procedure get in touch with my team. Although you are unlikely to need it is important we have a plan in place.
Benefits of PRP Injection
- The most significant advantage of PRP is that it utilizes the patient's own blood, which reduces the risk of infection or allergic reaction.
- In some cases, PRP injection has been shown to provide longer-lasting relief than other treatments, such as corticosteroid injections. It has a good track record of success in treating chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, where other treatments may not offer adequate relief.
- It is a useful alternative to corticosteroid injection for diabetics whose blood sugar control can be affected by having a steroid injection.
Risks and Considerations
Like any medical procedure, there are some risks and considerations associated with PRP injection:
- While the risk of infection and allergic reaction is lower than with other treatments, there is still a risk of these complications occurring.
- Additionally, as with any injection, there is a small risk of bleeding or nerve damage.
- If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications you should inform the physician before undergoing a PRP injection.
Patients who are pregnant, have an active infection, or have certain medical conditions, such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, or low platelet count are not candidates for PRP injection.
Overall, PRP injection is a safe and effective treatment option for many musculoskeletal conditions. If you are experiencing pain or other symptoms related to a musculoskeletal condition, get in touch to find out whether a PRP injection is right for you.