PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy
Norwood Day Surgery in Adelaide can provide patients with innovative PRP treatment which harnesses the body’s own natural renewal process.
With this treatment patients can expect to see improvement in symptoms (which can be temporary and need repeat treatments) and, at times, PRP can delay or postpone the need for other treatments.
How does PRP Therapy work?
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP Therapy is a treatment that uses blood extracted from your own body. Blood is made of RBC (Red Blood Cells), WBC (White Blood Cells), Plasma, and Platelets. When in their resting state, platelets look like sea sponges and when activated form branches and were initially known to be responsible for blood clotting. In the last 20 years we have learned that when activated in the body, platelets release healing proteins called growth factors. There are many growth factors with varying responsibilities, however cumulatively they accelerate tissue and wound healing. Therefore after increasing the baseline concentration of these platelets (Platelet Rich Plasma, PRP), we are able to deliver a powerful cocktail of growth factors that can dramatically enhance tissue recovery.
PRP is virtually a cocktail of many proteins that collectively stimulate repair and regeneration. However there are some proteins included in PRP that we can now selectively isolate to promote anti-inflammatory effects and pain reduction. Scientists have now developed natural/homeopathic based tools to selectively isolate the cells/growth factors within PRP that meet our needs of customising the treatment by reducing inflammation and simultaneously stimulating repair.
How is a PRP procedure performed?
PRP therapy uses your own blood which includes specially prepared platelets that are taken and then injected into joints or the surrounding affected area under ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy. These platelets release substances known as “growth factors” that lead to tissue healing. By concentrating the platelets we increase the release of growth factors which promotes the healing of tendons and cartilage.
PRP is used to treat a variety of injuries
As a concentrated source of autologous platelets, PRP contains (and releases through degranulation) several different growth factors and other messengers called cytokines that stimulate healing of bone and soft tissue. The efficacy of certain growth factors in healing various injuries and the concentrations of these growth factors found within PRP are the theoretical basis for the use of PRP in tissue repair. The platelets collected in PRP are activated by the addition of thrombin and calcium chloride, which induces the release of these factors from granules contained within the platelets.
The growth factors and other cytokines present in PRP include:
- Platelet-derived growth factor
- Transforming growth factor beta
- Fibroblast growth factor
- Insulin-like growth factor 1
- Insulin-like growth factor 2
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
- Epidermal growth factor
- Interleukin 8
- Keratinocyte growth factor
- Connective tissue growth factor
PRP has been used to treat:
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Knee tendonitis
- Rotator cuff tears
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
Below are some common questions in regards to PRP therapy.
How soon can I go back to regular physical activity?
This treatment is designed to promote long-term healing and requires time and rehabilitation in order to do so. Patients who follow a course of physical therapy are likely to see the most improvement in the affected area, and regular visits to your doctor will allow them to determine when regular activity can be resumed. PRP accelerates and shortens the recovery process in chronic injuries and new acute injuries.
How do I prepare for a treatment?
After an initial consultation, you may be asked to have an x-ray, musculosketal ultrasound or a MRI. This is to ensure a proper diagnosis and to rule out any condition best treated surgically. The injection usually takes an hour and is performed on an ‘outpatient’ basis. It is important that you do not take any anti-imflammatories, vitamins/supplements or alcohol one week prior to the injection and for one week after as this may limit the treatment benefits.
Depending on patient’s condition, a series of 1-3 injections may be necessary.
How do I care for the injection site after treatment?
Initially the procedure may cause some localised soreness and discomfort. For this reason it is recommended that patients arrange for someone to drive them home after the procedure. Patients may apply ice and elevation as needed. After one week you can commence a rehabilitation program with physical therapy.
What are the significant side effects?
Although uncommon, the risks include those signs/symptoms associated with an injection including: pain, infection, no relief of symptoms, worsening of symptoms, blood clots, nerve injury, skin discoloration, calcification, scarring, loss of fat to the area and allergic reaction.
Please note that the results of every procedure will vary from patient to patient. Norwood Day Surgery can neither predict nor guarantee success, please book a consultation to find out if this procedure is right for you.