Platelet rich plasma (PRP therapy) is also known as autologous conditioned plasma (ACP). This orthobiologic therapy utilises the body's natural healing properties harnessed from the blood in order to repair damaged tissue and reduce pain. Multiple scientific studies have indicated that the use of this regenerative therapy can improve joint function, reduce pain and help you return to your normal activities quickly and without surgery.
Complex processes take place in the body during healing of injured tissue. Platelets are present in blood and have a key role in the regenerative and healing process. They are drawn to the site of injury by chemical factors which then promote the release of proteins known as growth factors at the site of injury. These initiate the repair process and reduce inflammation. PRP/ACP therapy harnesses this natural body constituent, concentrates it and directs it straight to the point of injury, upregulating the body's natural healing response and improving your symptoms. The treatment has been subject to global research and many clinical papers support its effectiveness in the management of degenerative conditions of the joints and sports injuries.
The procedure PRP therapy is performed in the outpatient setting and involves either two or three injections spaced one or two weeks apart. Each appointment takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.
The three main steps of the procedure are:
A blood sample is drawn from a vein in your arm.
The syringe of blood is spun in a highly specialised centrifuge machine and the technology within the syringe separates the solid component of the blood from the plasma.
The concentration of platelets and plasma is drawn off from the sample and under sterile conditions injected into the site of injury.
At One Orthopaedics, as a leading orthopaedic and sports injury clinic in Surrey, we have a huge experience in the use of PRP and regenerative orthobiologcs to treat a wide range of conditions and injuries. We specialise in non-operative management of orthopaedic conditions and focus heavily on trying to get patients back to doing what they love whilst avoiding surgery.
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of PRP therapy?
PRP is a proven orthobiologic treatment for the management of early degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and acute sports injuries. It is often good for patients who have not responded to other non-operative treatments or injections and provides a less invasive option to treat many conditions without surgery.
What are the downsides?
Whilst PRP therapy has clinically proven effectiveness there are a percentage of patients in whom the injections do not cure symptoms.
What are the risks?
PRP is a very safe treatment option. As we are harnessing the healing potential from your own blood there is no risk of an allergic reaction or rejection. The risks are small but because we are penetrating the area of injury with a needle there is a very small risk of bleeding infection or nerve damage.
What is the recovery?
Immediately following the PRP injections some patients report an aching pain around the site of injection for a couple of days but this settles with time. There is no restriction to the activities you are able to do immediately following injections but we would probably recommend a couple of days of moderate rest following each injection. It may be 4 - 6 weeks before the effectiveness of the injections becomes apparent.
What conditions can be treated by PRP
PRP has good evidence in the treatment of mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, shoulder and ankle. It can also be used to treat tendinopathies such as patella tendinopathy or Achilles tendinopathy, tennis or golfers elbow, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries to the shoulder, neck or lower back pain and trochanteric bursitis around the hip.
PRP treatment brochure