PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP)

What is PRP?

Our blood is made up of 93% red blood cells, 6% white blood cells, 1% platelets and plasma. Platelets are best known for their function of blood-clotting to stop bleeding. Platelets, however, are much more significant than this, as human platelets are also a critical component in injury healing.

Platelet-rich plasma, commonly referred to as PRP, is an autologous blood derivative- it is human blood that is spun down and separated producing a concentration of platelets above normal values. Platelets are the clotting cells of our blood, but they also have great potential in enhancing healing of muscle, tendon, and ligaments. Studies suggest that growth factors released by platelets recruit reparative cells, may augment tissue repair, and accelerate soft tissue healing.

What does the process involve?

  • After assessing you, a nurse will take your blood (like a standard blood test), which will be spun in a centrifuge to isolate the plasma component.
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is activated under a light. Then the PRP is injected directly into the site of injury. The process will take around 45 to one hour.
  • Local anaesthetic is injected 15-20 minutes before or at the same time with PRP injection depending on the injury.

How does it work?

The growth factors and platelets in the plasma promote cells to multiply and form new tissue accelerating and enhancing the healing process.

PRP contains a much higher concentration of platelets than normal blood. This means that higher concentrations of growth factors are being released into the injured area.

When compared to cortisone injections, PRP injections hold better results and last much longer. While the effects of cortisone are rapid, they are often followed by a decline in condition. PRP shows slower but greater long-term improvement and less injury recurrence.

What can be treated with PRP?

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries (including tennis or golfer’s elbow)
  • Degenerative knee conditions
  • Bursitis
  • Cosmetic (hair, face)
  • Rotator cuff
  • Gynaecological conditions

Preparing for your appointment

Please drink plenty of water and eat healthily prior to treatment. Avoid smoking if possible.

After your treatment

Following the first PRP treatment, you will be provided with exercises and advice specific to your injury/problem area.

Improvement will be a gradual process over the days to weeks following your treatment.

Treatment frequency

Frequency and number of treatments will depend on how severe the condition is.

For chronic joint injuries such as osteoarthritis, we recommend a course of three sessions, one week apart, followed by annual top up sessions.

For soft tissue injuries such as tendon tears, treatment involves three injections, two weeks apart.

For the treatment of burns or scars, treatment frequency will depend on severity.

Please note

After PRP is taken from your own blood, there are no risks of disease transmission or allergic reactions.

Sometimes PRP may aggravate the inflammatory response, causing a temporary increase in pain and swelling of the injured area. There may also be a local pressure effect from the injection of the fluid. These effects should subside within a few hours to days. If pain is severe, contact the doctor.

For further information on our services, such as costs of Genital PRP injections, please contact us on (02) 4937 5177.