What does the PRP do to the tissues?
Once the platelets are activated they break up and release their growth factor contents. The growth factors act as chemical messengers that attract fibroblasts to the area. Fibroblasts bring about the repair of old and creation of new tissue, depending on the site of the injection. Thus growth factors (from PRP) injected into cartilage will stimulate growth and repair of cartilage, that injected into muscle will create and repair muscle and that injected into dermis will create and repair dermis.
This is why PRP is so exciting but also why PRP treatment should be aimed at old or damaged tissue rather than tissue that is completely absent or destroyed.
In the UK most PRP treatments are for aesthetic indications including skin quality and hair loss, although in Europe PRP is well
accepted as a treatment for musculoskeletal injuries, degeneration and disease. Most of the research has been done on degenerative problems such as arthritis and tendonitis. PRP is practised all over the UK for orthopaedic indications but is not necessarily organised or easily available to the public. This is probably because Orthopaedic Surgeons are more interested in healing their patients than developing websites.
What sort of problems can be treated with PRP?
- Degenerative diseases - arthritis (knee, wrist, fingers, small joints)
- Muscle tears
- Sports injuries
- Tendon problems; tendinitis, weak and ruptured tendons (Achilles Tendon)
- Ligament injuries
- Foot injuries (Plantar Fasciitis)
Musculoskeletal injuries and degeneration
With an ageing population and more individuals enjoying the benefit of sport PRP will find itself used more and more. Continental doctors are well aware of the healing qualities of PRP and the desire of the patients to remain fit and active as long as possible. PRP replaces cortisone treatments to shoulders, wrists, knees and elbows and speeds up the healing process. It regenerates damaged muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments. It reduces pain almost immediately. PRP is injected directly into the injured tissues and in the surrounding muscles using ultrasound guidance. This is a simple, outpatient procedure with no need for anaesthetic and immediate return to normal activities.
What effects can I expect?
- Less inflammation and pain
- Accelerated healing of damaged tissues (tendons, cartilage, muscle)
- Increased joint and muscular mobility and functionality
- Shorter recovery time
Are there any conditions where PRP is not recommended?
Luckily there are few contraindications. However, you must respect these.
- Platelet or coagulation disorders, use of anti-coagulants.
- Infection at the site of injury.
The treating surgeon will check your health status before undergoing any treatment.