Regenerative medicine is revolutionising patient care, and it’s not just for sports people or athletes. If you suffer with chronic knee pain, osteoarthritis, or have ligament or tendon damage, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections may be the answer.
PRP is a cutting edge regenerative medicine treatment that encourages the body to restore damaged tissue to a healthy state more rapidly. Instead of treating the symptoms and masking the pain, it stimulates your body’s own healing process, treating the cause of the problem, and succeeding where other treatments fall short.
Minimally invasive, PRP uses your own blood to heal muscle, tendon and ligament injuries as well as pain (from osteoarthritis, for example). PRP injections are most commonly used for treating knee conditions like ligament sprains and tears, patellar tendonitis and tendinosis and bursitis. It is also widely used in the elbow, hand and wrist to help heal tennis and golfer’s elbow.
Dr Ralph Rogers, is the UK’s leading sports and orthopedic physician in the UK, and specialises in PRP injections in London. He says: “There is always some hesitation when a new treatment is introduced, but PRP is starting to gain recognition as a treatment that is successful at delaying – and in many cases, avoiding – the need for surgery. There are a wealth of studies that show PRP injections are highly effective – the results can clearly be seen in ultrasound and MRI images.”
How does PRP work?
Platelets in the blood play a key role in the healing of the body. When you’ve sustained an injury, your body uses the restorative platelets from your blood to repair damage. PRP involves injecting a high concentration of these platelets into the joint or affected tissue to speed up the body’s healing response to treat acute injury, inflammation and chronic degenerative disease.
The concentrated platelets contain growth factors which are key to accelerating tissue repair and regeneration. A single PRP injection has four to six times more platelets than what your body would naturally provide – that’s more than 1 billion platelets for every millimetre of treatment.
PRP injections: What to expect
When you undergo a PRP injection, a small sample of your blood is taken and placed into a centrifuge. Here, the blood is separated into its different components. The platelet rich plasma is then extracted, mixed with anaesthetic and ultrasound is used to ensure accurate placement of the injection into the damaged tissue. The process is quick – taking between 20 and 30 minutes in total.
The body’s repair mechanism takes time to work but after a short period of 2-3 weeks the effects of the PRP injection will be felt.
What are the benefits of PRP injections?
There are many benefits of PRP injections; patients see significant improvements in their symptoms which can remove the need for more invasive procedures that carry more risk, like surgery. Recovery time for PRP injection is also much shorter than that required for surgery.
Many of our patients like that there is no risk of any disease transmission as we use the patient’s own blood, and that it is a natural alternative to steroid injections which have many side effects and do not help to heal the cause of the pain.
Most patients with pain will take Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS), but long term use of anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen, can cause issues with the stomach, heart and blood pressure. PRP reduces the need to take NSAIDS on a long-term basis.
Are PRP injections painful?
The procedure can be uncomfortable but should not be painful.
What are PRP treatment side effects?
Side effects of PRP therapy are very rare, and risk of infection at the treatment site is less than 1% chance, according to Stanford School of Medicine.
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), PRP injections could have the following side effects:
- Pain and stiffness
- Pain and stiffness
The effectiveness of PRP treatment
Multiple clinical studies have shown PRP injections have improved function and reduced pain. The injections are particularly effective for long-lasting reduction of pain for tendon and ligament damage, and osteoarthritis.
A study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine showed excellent rates of pain relief in patients with elbow tendinosis:
46% pain relief by 4 weeks
60% pain relief in 8 weeks
81% pain relief in 6 months
Overall, 93% of patients were completely satisfied with their treatment and it had enabled them to avoid surgery.
Platelet rich plasma – cost
The cost of PRP injections vary greatly from clinic to clinic, and often reflects on the quality of treatment. When considering PRP injections you should carefully consider your chosen doctor’s qualifications, how much experience they have, and their rate of success. You will find Dr Rogers’s fee here.
It is also recommended that you enquire which PRP concentrating device will be used as not all are created equal, and this can affect the performance and effectiveness of your PRP injection. Dr Rogers uses the only the best equipment, which contributes to his excellent results.
You can rest assured that you’re in safe hands with Dr Rogers, who is highly experienced in PRP injections. He uses the very best equipment available and with a Masters of Science In Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Imaging With The Use Of Platelet Rich Plasma, who better to help you get your swagger back?
If you’ve got questions about whether PRP injections are right for you, or you would like to go ahead and book a consultation with Dr Rogers please don’t hesitate to call on 020 7112 5400.