Platelet rich plasma injections (PRP)

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection is an innovative technique for the treatment of painful joints, tendons and some other parts of the body, and is one of the pain management treatments now available at Hadley Wood Hospital.

What are platelets?

Platelets are tiny particles found in their millions in the plasma of everyone’s blood. Platelets are primarily there to stop bleeding – but for some time it has been understood that substances contained inside platelets can also help reduce inflammation in painful body tissues.

Because platelets occur naturally in our bodies, PRP treatment may be more natural, with longer-lasting results than steroid injections, especially if steroid injections have been tried once already and because they are from the patient’s own blood, there is no risk of transmitting viruses or other infections as there can be with transfusions.

The procedure

New equipment and techniques have been developed recently to make the injection of a person’s own PRP a simpler and more speedy procedure, and considerable success has been reported for the technique.

Some PRP injections can be carried out in the clinic, while others – where larger joints or spinal structures are being treated – may need to be carried out in theatre, with X-ray or ultrasound imaging to help guide the injection accurately. Light sedation may be offered to help you relax.

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