The New Way to
All our podiatrists regularly attend conference seminars where we continually aim to expand on our knowledge as well as keeping up to date with new methods of treatments, this enables us to provide the best evidence based treatment plan and advice for our patients.
Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) also known as autologous conditioned plasma therapy is an emerging treatment for painful sports injury or chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis and tendinitis. The therapy works on using the natural healing properties of your own blood to treat damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles or bone.
The main aim of this treatment is to reduce pain, improve joint function and potentially slow, halt or even repair damage to cartilage. It is well used in Sport Medicine and helps patients regain activity by effectively reducing pain and improving mobility.
How Does It Work??
The mechanism of repair to damaged structures and inflamed tissue involves a complex process naturally carried out by the body. Platelets (thrombocytes) play a key role in this process by releasing growth factors that will initiate the healing and restoration of the injured tissue or structure, inhibiting the painful inflammatory process happening at injury site. Due to the high concentration of growth factor yielded from the blood, PRP injections supports the body’s self healing process
The aims and effects of PRP therapy
With increased developing research for PRP and its positive results, the goal for PRP therapy are to:
- Use proteins in the blood that alter pain receptors to reduce pain
- Reduce the inflammatory process in osteoarthritis
- Stimulate new cartilage formation within joints
- Increase production of natural lubricant within the joint
- Repair damaged fibres within tendons and muscle
- Slow or halt further damage to cartilage in joints
- Possibly even repair previous damage
What areas can be treated?
Areas most commonly treated are usually:
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Patella tendinitis
- Plantar faciitis
- Ankle osteoarthritis
- 1st metatarsal osteoarthritis/bunion osteoarthritis
- Muscle strain
- Muscle contusion
- Torn muscle fibres
- Torn muscle bundles
- Gout in knees/ankle/1st metatarsal joint
Am I Suitable For PRP?
Traditional methods of relieving pain caused by osteoarthritis for a joint or injury to a tendon or muscle include:
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
- Braces and shock-absorbing shoes
- Custom made orthotics
- Kinesiology strapping
- Foot, ankle and knee braces
If some of the traditional above methods have been tried and you want to prevent surgical intervention such as a knee surgery, PRP (Autologus conditioned) therapy might be a suitable alternative subject to consultation with the MSK (musculoskeletal) podiatrist.
Discuss your options with our MSK podiatrist so you can make an educated decision along with professional guidance.
What To Expect From The Treatment?
- Due to the PRP treatment requiring a sample of your own blood, the first step is to take an extraction of your blood from your arm as they would if you were having a blood test.
- The sample of blood is then placed in a centrifuge which will separate the blood into elements; red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets.
Platelet-rich plasma is extracted from the sample and I turned injected into the joint (or other affected area)
- The procedure can take anywhere from 45-60minutes and patients can start weight bearing as normal after the procedure.
- After the PRP injection it is advisable to treat the area with ice every few hours for 15-20 minutes for up to three days.
- You should refrain from putting weight onto your knee for a few days. Use crutches if you need to.
- A follow up consultation will take place 6-Completes after the injection.