What is photo-activated platelet-rich plasma?
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) is a growth factor rich medium that is developed from your own blood. It is notsynthetic.
Research has shown PRP to be effective in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions. We have found it to be very effetive in managing joint pain related to osteoarthritis.
Recent developments of PhotoActivation have been successful in increasing the naturally derived antiinflammatory mediators within PRP.
How are PRP injections done? What is involved ?
PRP therapy involves three injections into the injured area over two weeks.
On each occasion you will be required to donate blood for generation of the PRP.
Injections are done under sterile conditions, with local anaesthetic and using ultrasound guidance.
Each procedure will take approximately 45 minutes.
What do I need to do before my injections?
Patients are required to cease taking anti-inflammatory tablets one week prior to the PRP procedure.
Patients taking regular aspirin should continue to take this as prescribed by their general practitioner.
What do I need to do after my injections?
It is recommended that you have someone to drive you home after an injection due to some potential residual effects of the local anaesthetic or discomfort from the procedure. If your first injection does not cause any pain or functional issues, you may be able to drive for the rest – check with your doctor.
Depending on the structure injected, you may need to offload the area for a period.
Your doctor will discuss this with you and outline it in detail on a consent for prior to the day of procedure.
Patients undergoing Platelet-rich Plasma therapy are required to also be actively involved in a supervised rehabilitation program. Your doctor will discuss with you the specifics of this. In some instances, you may need to stop exercise for a period and resume after medical review.
In general, adverse outcomes from PRP injections are rare, but they may include;
To reduce chance of infection all injections are done under sterile conditions using ultrasound guidance for
accuracy. PRP has natural anti-bacterial properties that reduce chance of infection.
Injections can be uncomfortable. If necessary, a regional nerve block is performed to improve comfort. This is rarely required.
In all cases, local anaesthetic is used.
You are encouraged to use simple analgesia (Panadol/ panadeine) as required after the procedure and icing can be very helpful. If necessary, your doctor can provide you with a prescription for panadeine forte.
Much of the post procedure discomfort can be addressed by closely following any post procedure instructions from your doctor.
Platelet-rich plasma injections are generally very safe, but are contra-indicated in the following conditions –
• some bleeding disorders
If you are unsure, discuss your concerns with your doctor.
You will be given a separate sheet detailing the cost of your injections.
What do I do now?
If you feel that you would like to go ahead with PRP injection, you will need to read the information on costs, sign a consent form and make a booking with our reception staff.
In general, we recommend a course of 3 injections at weekly intervals. You may want to book these ahead.
If you are not responding as expected, this plan can always be altered as we go along.
Can I get more information/evidence for PRP?
Level 1 scientific research has shown PRP to be effective in the treatment of various musculoskeletal conditions/
injuries. Studies have indicated that PRP achieves better results than cortisone or placebo injections. Results
from PRP injection in combination with an eccentric exercise program are also better than doing an exercise
Below is a list of research publications looking at the effectiveness of PRP.
• Creaney. et al, Growth factor-based therapies provide additional benefit beyond physical therapy in resistant
elbow tendinopathy: a prospective, single-blind, randomised trial of autologous blood injections versus
platelet-rich plasma injections, Br J Sports Med 2011, Online Publication
• Rabago, et al. A systematic review of four injection therapies for lateral epicondylosis: prolotherapy,
polidocanol, whole blood and platelet-rich plasma, Br J Sports Med 2009;43:471-481
• Anitua, et al. New insights into and novel applications for platelet-rich fibrin therapies, Trends in
Biotechnology 2006, Vol 24, 5:227-234
• Edwards, et al. Autologous Blood Injections for Refractory Lateral Epicondylitis, The J Hand Surg 2003, Vol
• Spakova, et al. Treatment of Knee Joint Osteoarthritis with Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma in Comparison
with Hyaluronic Acid. Am J Phys Med & Rehab 2012;91(5):411-417
• Kon et al. Platelet-rich plasma: intra-articular knee injections produced favorable results on degenerative
cartilage lesion, Knee Surg Sport Traumatol Arthrosc, 2009, Online Publication
• Baltzer, et al. Autologous conditioned serum is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis, Osteo and
Cartilage 2009, 17:152-160
• Sanchez, et al. Intra-articular injection of autologous preparation rich in growth factors for the treatment of
knee OA: a retrospective cohort study, Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2008, 26(5):910-913
• Drengk, et al. Influence of platelet-rich plasma on chondrogenic differentiation and proliferation of
chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells. Cells Tissues Organs 2009; 189(5):317-26.
• Saito, et al. Intraarticular administration of platelet-rich plasma with biodegradable gelatin hydrogel
microspheres prevents osteoarthritis progression in the rabbit knee, Clin Exp Rheumatol 2009, 27(2):
If you have any further queries or concerns, please discuss them with your doctor.