Platelet Rich Plasma
What is it ?
Platelet rich plasma is an extraction of fluid of a persons blood which is concentrated in platelets. Platelets are special cell fragments in our blood that help initiate the initial stages of healing. They have several biochemical agents which initiate the healing response for various tissues.
Where is it used ?
PRP has been used for various tendonopathies( tendon disorders) throughout the body such as tennis elbow. It is helpful in tendonopathies because tendons inherently have a poor blood supply and therefore have a limited repair response. The platelets are thought to release growth factors to help initiate a healing response in the area that the tendon is damaged. Other tendons which prp has been used include the patellar tendon, quadriceps tendon , Achilles’ tendon and the plantar fascia. There is also some data to suggest it helps patients with chondral lesions and osteoarthritis.
What is the procedure ?
The procedure involves drawing blood from a patient and placing it in the centrifuge. The platelets are then extracted from the blood . They are then injected into the affected area under ultrasound guidance.
What is the aftercare ?
As the platelets are used to stimulate the first stage of healing which is inflammation. Patients are cautioned not to use NSAIDs or antinflammatories which may delay the healing.
What are the risks ?
There could be localized irritation from the injection. It is relatively safe as it is the patients own blood