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What is a PRP injection?

Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a substance that is thought to promote healing weight is injected into your joint, your tendons and soft tissues around your knee joint. Your plasma is a component of your blood that contains “factors” or proteins that help your blood to clot can help your tissues heal and can also reduce inflammation.

Can PRP help my tissues heal?

Scientists believe that the protein in your plasma or platelets can help tissues heal more quickly and can help tissues regenerate.
In theory, injecting PRP into damaged tissues or joints will stimulate your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing. Because the tissue growth factors are more concentrated in the PRP injections, it may help your body’s tissues may heal faster.

Can PRP injections help with knee pain?

Injections have been used to treat knee pain following sporting injuries, knee pain caused by tendon problems, and also knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. PRP injections have also been used to speed up recovery following knee operations such as ACL reconstruction and cartilage repair surgery.

PRP injections for knee arthritis are becoming more and more popular. They can help some people avoid or delay the need for major knee surgery. 

There has been some controversy about PRP injections but recent research has shown that PRP injections can slow down the progression of your knee arthritis. Lots of studies that show a definite improvement in pain scores following PRP injections even up to 2 years following the treatment.

What happens during a PRP injection?

 

The procedure can safely be carried out in the clinic. After you have seen your knee specialist , they will review your case and the results of any investigations such as MRI scans and knee X-rays. Arrangements will be made for you to come to the out-patient treatment clinic.

  • A healthcare professional will draw a sample of your blood. The amount of the sample depends on where the PRP will be injected.
  • Your blood is placed into a centrifuge. This is a machine that spins around very quickly, causing the blood components to separate. The separation process takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Your doctor takes your separated plasma and prepares it for injection.
  • Sometimes your doctor will use imaging, such as ultrasound to guide a needle into the specific areas for injection, such as your tendon.
  • Your doctor will then inject the PRP into the affected area.

What are the potential side-effects of a PRP injection?

PRP injections are generally thought to be a safe procedure. As it involves injecting your own blood there are no concerns regarding allergic reactions. Some people may feel some pain at the injection site and if injecting near nerves and blood vessels there can be some bleeding or damage to the nerves.

It is less risky than injecting other medications, such as cortisone or hyaluronic acid.

Do I have to rest after my PRP injection?

Most people can continue their daily activities following PRP injections. Although it is advisable to avoid strenuous exercise for a week or so after your treatment. 

A physiotherapist led exercise program is recommended to get the most out of your treatment and help you see sustained benefits for the long term. 

PRP injections are intended to promote healing or growth, you may not notice an immediate difference after receiving the injections. However, in several weeks or months, you may observe that the area is healing faster or you have less knee pain. 

The effects tend to last longer than standard cortisone or hyaluronic acid injections.

How can I get a PRP injection for my knee pain?

Simply get in touch with us. We will be able to arrange for you to be seen by a specialist knee surgeon who will assess your case and help you determine whether PRP injection is the right treatment for you. Treatments can be performed in the outpatient setting with treatment starting From as little as £300. Most healthcare insurance will cover the cost of PRP injections for osteoarthritis.

So in conclusion….

  • PRP injections might slow the progression of osteoarthritis. 
  • PRP injections might preserve the cartilage you have left in your knee. 
  • PRP injections appear to improve the quality of life and improve the pain scores of people suffering from knee osteoarthritis. 

This might mean that some people can put off or even avoid major surgery as an alternative treatment for their knee arthritis…

BUT,  PRP injections have NOT been shown to reverse or cure osteoarthritis, more research is needed on these and other orthobiologic treatments but the future is promising. I’ll keep you informed of any updates…

 Disclaimer:  This information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links.

If you’re suffering from knee pain – get your free copy of my guide to find out everything you need to know about how to manage your symptoms.

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