What are PRP injections?
PRP injections have been around for quite some time but with the advent of more accessible and cheaper materials they are becoming more widely used. PRP injections are use in the cosmetic industry to help improve skin appearance, and I have also been used in sports medicine for many years to help treat tendon and joint pain.
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. Some blood is taken from the patient’s arm, the same as when you have a blood done. The blood bottle is then spun in a centrifuge for about five minutes, and this helps to separate the blood cells from the blood plasma. Plasma is then harvested into an injection syringe that can be used injected into joints and tendons. Plasma is full of platelets and when the PRP is injected back into your body the platelets are activated releasing a host of around 30 different growth and repair factors which help with healing and rejuvenation.
Why would you have a PRP injection?
PRP injections have been shown to be very useful when injected into arthritic joints. They help to calm down the inflammation within the joint, such as in an arthritic knee or hip joint. Combined PRP with hyaluronic acid has been shown to be superior to either hyaluronic acid or PRP on its own. At Wandsworth physiotherapy we use a system by Regen Lab whereby we can combine PRP and hyaluronic acid in the same injection.
They have also been shown to be very useful for tendinopathy. Injecting PRP into the degenerative portion of the tendon helps the tendon repair and when this is combined with physiotherapy and strengthening exercises the tendon recovers over time. PRP can also be injected into structures such as a bursa I like the subacromial bursa in the shoulder.
All injections carry a slight risk such as infection, however because you are injecting your own biological tissue back into your body there is very little chance of any other side-effects that you might experience with steroid or hyaluronic acid injections such as allergy and anaphylaxis. PRP injections are very safe and effective, and most injections are relatively painless.
Ultrasound guided PRP injections
At Wandsworth physiotherapy we can use ultrasound guided PRP injections for knee, shoulder, and hip arthritis, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow and gluteal tendinopathy.
If you’re suffering and need an ultrasound guided steroid, PRP or hyaluronic acid injection contact us today.