Platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP)

What is it?

Platelet rich plasma therapy is when a patient’s own blood platelets (which contain healing growth factors) are injected into the sore joint area with the aim of provoking the body’s own healing process. This procedure may be recommended to treat chronic degeneration of the tendon called tendinosis. This is caused by an accumulation of microscopic injuries to the tendon over time. The damage can result in pain and disability.

Our platelets have an important role in the natural healing of wounds and bone defects as they contain various natural growth factors. Platelet rich plasma therapy is used as an alternative treatment method for orthopaedic conditions which have traditionally required surgery including:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinosis
  • Mild to moderate osteoarthritis

Diagnosis and treatment options

Your consultant will examine you and ask you to demonstrate certain movements to check how well your foot is working. You might need some additional tests, which will be fully discussed with you during your appointment. This may include the following:

  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

The procedure involves a small amount of blood being taken from the patient and being placed in a centrifuge which spins and separates the platelets from the rest of the blood. The patient's platelets are then collected into a highly concentrated formula which are then re-injected back into the patient's injured area. When platelets become activated, growth factors are released and initiate the body’s natural healing response.

The procedure can be performed as a daycase. Recovery is dependent upon both the condition being treated and the severity.

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