Platelet Rich Plasma Injections

Non-Surgical Conditions

Platelet Rich Plasma Injections 

Athletes from almost all walks of life, from casual gym-goers to football and tennis stars, receive platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections for various sports injuries. The injections are usually used to treat tendon and ligament injuries, among others. Learn more about the PRP injections offered by Sports Med London. 

 

What Injuries Do PRP Injections Treat? 

Some of the most common injuries that platelet rich plasma injections are used to treat are: 

  • Chronic degenerative joint disease 
  • Types of tendonitis such as golfer’s and tennis elbow 
  • Chronic muscle injuries such as gastrocnemius tears 
  • Injuries to articular cartilage on bones at your joints 
  • Early partial tears in tendons 
  • Muscle and ligament injuries 
  • Chronic ligament injuries 
  • Early osteoarthritis 

 

Platelet Rich Plasma – The Basics 

To understand what platelet rich plasma is, we first need to take a quick look at what’s in our blood. Most of it is a liquid called plasma, and the rest of it is small solids such as platelets and red and white cells. 

Platelets play an important role in clotting, but there’s more to them – they also contain proteins known as growth factors, and they play an important role in healing injuries. PRP is plasma that contains a much higher concentration of platelets than usually found in blood. That concentration’s typically 5 or even 10 times greater. 

Growth factors enhance cell growth, reduce inflammation, and send signals to the immune system. In addition to containing growth factors, platelets also contain cytokines, which speed up wound and tissue healing. Cytokines also play a vital role in cellular communication. 

 

PRP Injections Page

How PRP Is Made 

The PRP used in platelet rich plasma injections comes from your own blood. To prepare it, a doctor or nurse draws blood from you. The sample undergoes centrifugation, a process that separates the platelets from the red and white cells and increases their concentration. The PRP produced by centrifugation is injected into the place of injury. 

 

How Effective Are Platelet Rich Plasma Injections? 

Medical professionals, athletes, and scientists have attested to the effectiveness of platelet rich plasma injections in improving the healing of injuries and the management of mild to moderate osteoarthritis. Research until now has been promising, as it has demonstrated the injections improve outcomes. 

That said, various factors can influence the injections’ effectiveness. They include the body part being treated, whether the injury developed over time (chronic) or resulted from an incident such as tripping (acute), your overall health, the cellular make-up of the PRP, and the method of preparation. 

Keep reading for more information about platelet rich plasma injections. 

 

Technical Information:

What is a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection?

This is a concentrated suspension of platelets in plasma derived from a patient’s own blood (autologous). A small volume of blood is taken from a patient and centrifuged. This splits the blood into several components including Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCs) and Plasma. The plasma is rich in platelets, depleted in white cells and packed full of growth factors. The growth factors are thought to stimulate chondrocytes (articular cartilage cells) to proliferate and possibly induce healing. This was approved for injection into the joint for osteoarthritic knees by NICE on 23 January 2019. PRP may also be injected into tendons for treating tendinopathies (degenerate and painful tendons).