Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Treatment: Patient Information
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Treatment: Patient Information (Musculoskeletal)
You are receiving this information because you have opted to undergo PRP injection treatment for your musculoskeletal problem. Moreover, your condition has been identified as one that may benefit with this form of treatment. Here at Dynamic Clinic we would like to provide some basic information and instructions regarding the PRP treatment.
Background on Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Treatment
PRP is a simple, straightforward and safe treatment that is derived from your own blood. An experienced clinician will take a small sample of blood from your arm (approximately 20–40 ml) and then place it in a special PRP processing kit, before separating the important blood cells. The separation of cells is done via the use of centrifuge. More specifically, this centrifuge (for approximately 15 minutes) separates the blood into important components including red blood cells, platelets and plasma. The middle layer constitutes PRP, which contains highly concentrated platelets - the cells that are responsible for promoting blood clotting, and facilitating a healing/repair process. Along with platelet will be various white blood cells that have many beneficial immuno-modulatory and inflammatory effects.
The clinician will then extract this plasma with a very high concentration of platelets (this is the PRP). These platelets are then activated with a very small sample of calcium chloride. When platelets are activated, they release very important bioactive protein growth factors. These include platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factors, and vascular growth factor. These growth factors interact with local cells and send signals that initiate a variety of events such as cell division, migration, proliferation and stem cell recruitment. The basic idea behind PRP injection treatment is to deliver high concentrations of growth factors to a site of tissue damage or injury, to stimulate and facilitate a healing response, at the same time as reducing/modulating inflammation in tissues.
PRP has been used for decades to help promote healing dental, orthopaedic, and plastic surgery procedures. Over about the past 5-10 years, PRP has been recognised for its huge potential in healing and treating both chronic and acute musculoskeletal injuries involving tendons, ligaments and muscles, including cartilage. This simple procedure is now gaining wider media attention as it has been used in professional athletes for speeding up recovery during injury. Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine, we specialise in regenerative medicine and are a big advocate of PRP treatment. We have been performing and providing the treatment for several years and have witnessed fantastic success. We have seen great clinical outcomes in regards to:
improved mobility and function
tissue and cartilage preservation
slowed progression of degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis
improve quality of life
Potential risks and benefits
Today, injection of PRP into degenerated or partially torn tendons has been shown to be highly effective in the majority of patients, and research is continually ongoing and amplifying. Most PRP injections are being done in areas of tendon degeneration, cartilage degeneration or chronic injury which are causing pain for the patient. Examples include the osteoarthritis, Achilles tendon, tennis elbow, shoulder tendinitis and over various muscle tendons. PRP has also been shown to been beneficial in treatment of muscle strain injuries and tears. Overall, following on from an assessment, your clinician may feel that PRP is a reasonable form of treatment for you when looking at your condition, and in comparison with other forms of treatment including injection therapy, surgery and other conservative means like physical rehabilitation and manual therapy. Because PRP is derived from your own blood (meaning autologous), there is a very low risk of rejection or reaction. Indeed in the literature, side-effects or complications of PRP injections are very uncommon, which is one of the reasons as to why it is such a popular form of treatment.
PRP injections are very safe and very well tolerated, with with very limited side-effects. Mild discomfort can be felt in the treatment area a few hours after treatment. Apart from mild discomfort, the treatment is very well tolerated. 15% of cases, patients can experience stiffness and mild discomfort that can last for a couple of days following on from treatment. In less than 5% of cases, if the patient suffers a mild reaction, it can be stiff and sore for a couple of weeks. Worst case side-effect, as for any treatment is infection or nerve damage, but fortunately this is very uncommon. It is recommended to avoid anti-inflammatory medication for one week before and four weeks after PRP injection as these can reduce PRP effectiveness.
What to expect during the procedure
You should stop taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (Ibuprofen, seven days before the procedure, and should not take these medications again following on from the procedure. Common examples are inclusive of naproxen and aspirin. Non-steroidal medication to work for blocking the action of some of the growth factors present in PRP, this may render the injection ineffective. You may use paracetamol before after the procedure.
Post procedure guidelines
Generally speaking, the procedure is very well tolerated apart from mild soreness and stiffness following. During this time, it is advised to focus on gentle mobility exercises to speed up recovery. About one in 20 patients may experience a ‘flare’ following the procedure. During this time it is advised again to focus on gentle mobility exercises along with ice if needed and paracetamol. While some redness and swelling is common after the procedure, if any progressive swelling or heat is noticed – immediate medical attention maybe required in the chance of infection, but again this is an extremely uncommon complication but which may warrant antibiotic treatment and drainage.
Activity level and follow-up
For the day of the procedure and after, limit the activity related to be injection site to activities of daily living. A few days following on from treatment it is not uncommon for the individual to carry on with normal structured exercise, depending on the advice following treatment from your clinician. Some individuals can start to see improvements after a couple of weeks where are some other times it can take a month or two. It is advisable to be patient and to work on mobility and rehabilitation during PRP repair process. It is generally recommended to have a course of up to 3 PRP injections into an area that needs attention, commonly 3–4 weeks apart. During this process, you progress will be adequately assessed. Progress is dependent on many different factors – the severity of damage and degenerative changes, duration of issue, associated disability et cetera…
PRP is a very popular choice of treatment, and does show fantastic results in the majority of cases. Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine, we have been performing PRP injection treatment for several years and are delighted with its progress. In comparison to very common treatments like corticosteroid, PRP is providing better results over a longer timeframe. Whereas corticosteroid injections are tending to provide short-term benefit and are not a long-term solution.
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Don’t let back pain, joint damage, sports injuries or arthritis get in the way of allowing you to do what you want. Schedule a consultation at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine today, and let us treat your condition, provide pain relief and get you back to your full and active lifestyle. We have clinics operating out of Solihull (Henley-In-Arden) and Birmingham (Edgbaston).
Call us today 01564 330773
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