Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections harness and utilise the wound-healing and regrowth cells (platelets) found in blood, in order to repair many common conditions, such as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis. The treatment works by injecting a high concentration of platelets (approximately 4-5 times more concentrated than normal blood) in and around damaged cells and structures, in order to increase repair and recovery in the damaged areas.
What happens during the treatment?
PRP treatment involves taking a small amount of blood from the patient, which is far far less than the amount taken when giving/donating blood. The blood is then placed into a Centrifuge that rapidly spins the tubes of your blood. Spinning the blood causes the components to separate, into Red Blood Cells, Platelet Rich Plasma, and Platelet Poor Plasma. The Platelet Rich Plasma, is then extracted and injected into the area of concern.
The PRP injections are all carried out under local anaesthetic, so you won’t experience any discomfort during the treatment.
How effective is PRP Treatment?
PRP has been shown to be a safe and effective alternative to steroid injections for treating chronic plantar fasciitis and tendinopathy (also known as tendinitis or tendinosis). The main benefits of PRP injections are that the results are more effective and longer lasting, when compared to the results from steroid injections. Furthermore, the structures injected with PRP often revert back to a more normal thickness and tissue type, and often regain a greater degree of function, when compared against those injected with corticosteroid.
When will I see results?
You will begin to see an improvement in the area treated after approximately 4-6 weeks, with the optimum benefit being achieved after around 12 weeks of continued improvement.
What can I expect after the treatment?
Around 92% of patients report having no or minimal limitations on day-to-day living following PRP treatment, and just 8% reporting moderate limitations. We encourage patients to keep off their feet, and avoid weight-bearing for the first 3 days post treatment. Depending on your job role and requirements, most patients can return to work between 5 Days and 2 weeks, and return the exercise and recreational activity after around 4 weeks. We recommend that patients wear a comfortable pair of trainers for 2 weeks post treatment. Due to nature of the treatment utilising the body’s inflammatory wound-healing response, we advise patients to avoid taking a NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs), such as Ibuprofen as this could reduce the efficacy of the treatment.
You should also keep your dressing around the injection site clean and dry for 24 hours post treatment. Do not submerge the injection site in water for 5 days post treatment. Ensure you have someone to drive you home after the treatment. You can resume any stretching advice provided to you after 2 days post treatment.
Is PRP Safe?
PRP injections have now been performed in the field of sports medicine and musculoskeletal medicine since the 1990s and are regarded as being extremely safe. This is because PRP injections are derived from the recipient, making reactions and complications almost non-existent.
On the other hand, while steroid injections are certainly safe, there is a limit most clinicians will place on the number of steroid injections they will safely administer to patients. This is due to the increased risk of loss of protective fat tissue and soft tissue rupture that can occur with Steroid Injections. Although most people will only require one PRP injection, some conditions can require up to 3 injections, however multiple PRP injections poses little to no risk to the patient.
What are the benefits of PRP over other treatments for Plantar fasciitis?
- Convenience – Other treatment alternatives frequently involve multiple treatments over a two to three-month period, incurring cost and inconvenience. PRP on the other-hand generally is a one-off treatment which causes minimal disruption to lifestyle as well as yielding excellent results.
- A rejuvenated plantar fascia – A 2018 study that followed 174 people with sever plantar fasciitis over a 15-year period found that only 24% of those without pain had normal plantar fascia on imaging. The remaining 76% displayed thickening and degeneration of the plantar fascia. (Long-Term Prognosis of Plantar Fasciitis: A 5- to 15-Year Follow-up Study of 174 Patients With Ultrasound Examination). L. Hansen et al.
At this moment in time little is known as to why the plantar fascia rarely ever fully reverts back to a normal thickness or appearance imaging. However, there is emerging evidence that the growth factors contained in PRP treatment can help restore or rejuvenate the plantar fascia to a more normal appearance. A 2016 study of 44 patients with chronic plantar fasciitis found that following PRP injection the plantar fascia reverted back to a near normal thickness, with 81% reporting significant overall improvement. Ahmed A,Baz 2016 The Egyptian Journal of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.
Following PRP injection, it is thought that if the plantar fascia reverts back to a normal thickness and appearance that the suffer is more likely to obtain a cure and less likely to suffer a relapse.
What are the risks of PRP treatment?
Due to the fact that your own blood and platelets are being used, PRP treatment is incredibly safe and effective, with low risk of complications and adverse reactions. However, as with all injections, as a needle is being placed into your body, there is a very small risk of infection, bleeding and nerve damage, though these are incredibly rare.
Is there anyone that shouldn’t have PRP treatment?
Patients suffering from the followed would not be considered as suitable candidates for PRP treatment:
- Severe Anaemia
- Active Malignancy / Cancer
- Cardiac Disease
- Liver Disease
- Bleeding Disorders
- Active Infection
- Patients taking anti-coagulant medication
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
Is there anything I should do prior to my treatment?
- We ask that all patients choosing to undergo PRP treatment have thoroughly read and understood the PRP Information Pack provided to them by the clinic.
- Avoid taking NSAIDs prior to treatment
- A least 2 months should have passed since your most recent steroid injection. 6 Months since your most recent steroid is the optimum length of time.
- Avoid alcohol for 12 hours prior to your treatment
- Ensure you are hydrated, and drink plenty of fluid (ideally water) prior to your treatment
- If you have a history of fainting during blood tests or giving blood, please notify us so we can make the necessary arrangements.
Why choose The Barn Clinic for your PRP Treatment?
We have vast experienced from performing 1000’s ultrasound-guided injections for common foot conditions. We also have an incredibly high patient satisfaction rate and excellent feedback.
Are there any clinical studies available regarding PRP?
Some recent studies include:
- (2017) – Larry E Miller, William R Parrish, Breana Roides, Samir Bhattacharyya Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma injections for symptomatic tendinopathy: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised injection-controlled trials
- (2012) E.M.S Ragab Aa.M.A Othman Platelets rich plasma for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis.
- (2016) – Ahmed Baz, Ahmed M Gad, Mohammed R. Waly. Ultrasound guided injections of platelet rich plasma in cases of chronic plantar fasciitis The Egyptian Journal of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine 48(2017) 125-133
For more information regarding PRP Treatment, please call us on 0114 221 4780.