The use of Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Therapy is becoming increasingly popular in Australia for the treatment of mild to moderate osteoarthritis. Although relatively new to Australian shores, this type of treatment has been used overseas for a number of years in aid of musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions.
What is PRP therapy?
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (or PRP therapy) uses the healing properties found in our blood to enable a healing reaction to occur in a tissue that is no longer healing on its own. By injecting the damaged tissue with platelet rich plasma, the cells can then synthesize new collagen to strengthen and heal the tissue. When these platelets are activated in the body, they release healing proteins called growth factors. These growth factors have a range of responsibilities, a predominant feature of which is their ability to accelerate tissue repair and improve wound healing.
Where is it most common?
Used as a natural and effective alternative for the treatment of sports injuries and pain, PRP is most commonly used to treat tennis or golfer’s elbow, Achilles tendinosis, Plantar Fasciitis, meniscal tears and knee or hip osteoarthritis.
Where PRP therapy is renowned for its ability to heal tendon and tissue damage, its benefits are increasingly being used for its anti-ageing properties. When PRP is injected into the skin, the injection entry point causes a small wound, which activates the platelets and lets them get to work repairing the tissue in that area. For this reason, PRP therapy is also becoming increasingly popular amongst individuals with bad acne scarring. This type of skin rejuvenation can be used to produce a natural and noticeable improvement to sun damaged and prematurely aged skin, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles and hair loss in males and females.
What is the procedure?
The number of treatments or injections required will depend largely on the patient and condition. 1-2 treatments are usually sufficient for sports related injuries, however cosmetic treatments generally require 3 or more injections to see results. The procedure itself generally takes around 45 minutes, whereby a doctor or nurse will take blood from your arm before placing it in a centrifuge. The platelets will then be taken from the machine and injected to the site of your injury.
What are the results?
Although results differ depending on the patient and condition, the main goal of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through natural healing processes. As the body is effectively healing itself, PRP therapy quite often has lasting results with gradual improvement as the healing progresses.