What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy?

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PRP therapy

PRP therapy is a non-surgical procedure that treats damaged tendons, muscles and ligaments using platelets taken from your own blood. By carefully injecting platelet-rich plasma into damaged tissues, we can accelerate your body’s natural healing process, helping to relieve pain and restore functionality.

What is platelet-rich plasma?

Around 5-7% of your blood consists of small cells known as platelets, which help your body to form clots and stop bleeding. These platelets contain proteins known as growth factors, which are also important for healing.

Platelet-rich plasma is plasma (the main component of blood) that contains a high concentration of platelets. We create platelet rich plasma by spinning a small sample of your blood in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets.

What conditions can be treated using PRP?

PRP therapy is best suited to acute (sudden) injuries that have occurred as the result of an accident or a sports injury. However, it can also be used to treat some chronic (long term) injuries, for example osteoarthritis.

It’s usually considered once more conservative treatments have been exhausted, for example rest, medication, cortisone injections and physiotherapy. Often it provides an alternative to more invasive surgical procedures such as arthroscopy.

Some of the conditions that PRP therapy can treat include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ligament sprains
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • ACL injuries
  • Muscle strains or tears
  • Resistant trochanteric bursitis

What does the procedure involve?

PRP therapy is usually performed in just 10 minutes. Mr Shah will begin by taking a small amount of your blood – around 10ml. This will then be put into a centrifuge, which will spin the blood at a high speed to separate out the platelets to produce platelet-rich plasma.

This special plasma will then be carefully injected directly into your damaged tissue. You won’t need any pain relief and you’ll be able to go home after your procedure. You’ll need to rest for the first 48 hours, and we may recommend some physiotherapy sessions to help with your recovery. The majority of our patients are ‘back to normal’ and taking part in most activities within 2-6 weeks.

Occasionally, some individuals require a course of three PRP therapy sessions to relieve their symptoms and achieve the best results. Because PRP therapy encourages healing, rather than masking symptoms, results are usually maintained once they’ve been achieved.

PRP therapy and orthopaedic surgery

PRP therapy can also be used following orthopaedic surgery to help speed up recovery. In fact, golf star Tiger Woods underwent PRP therapy following a reconstruction of his lateral collateral ligament.

For more information on PRP therapy or to arrange a consultation with Mr Shah, please call 01903 707373 or get in touch using our contact form.

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