Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is a non-operative, injectable management option for a number of musculoskeletal problems. Research is now revealing that PRP is now significantly more superior compared to other injectable options including hyaluronic acid and steroids.[i],[ii],[iii],[iv] Furthermore, given its autologous nature, PRP has very small risk and adverse reaction profile. With these facts in mind, PRP has attracted an increasing amount of interest.
How does it work?
Our blood is predominantly comprised of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. Activated platelets have the natural ability to accentuate healing and anti-inflammatory effects by releasing a number of growth factors and alter pro-inflammatory pathways.[v] By concentrating the number of activated platelets, we can concentrate their natural abilities to manage suitable musculoskeletal conditions.
There are a number of PRP preparation and administration systems are currently available on the market. This may be a reason for its variable results.
At Pro Health Care, we have conducted research and found that Arthrex currently produces the most cost-effective system. Utilising Arthrex’s double syringe mechanism, blood is withdrawn from the patient. The double syringe is run through a centrifuge which separates the PRP from other blood constituents. The PRP is then extracted and injected into the pathological area.
How many injections do I need?
There is some evidence to suggest that three injections, three weeks apart is more superior than a single injection for mild osteoarthritis.
The injection should take approximately 15-20 minutes to prepare and administer. You may return to your normal activities as tolerated, immediately after the injection.
Your musculoskeletal symptoms should improve within three to six months after the first injection. The symptom improvement can be variable and in some rare instances, there may be no improvement.
Side effects from PRP include infection and a slight increase in pain after the injection. This post-injection pain should subside within 1-2 weeks. With this in mind, it is recommended that Panadol be taken 1 hour prior to injection and as required post-injection if you are able to. It is also important to abstain from alcohol and anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. Neurofen) from at least 48 hours prior to injection.
Arranging an Appointment
PRP injections are currently being offered at our Norwood clinic through our Arthritis and Sports Injury Clinic every Thursday morning. Appointments can be arranged online or by calling our clinic on 8431 5506.
Please be aware that an appropriate assessment of the area will need to be performed before administering the PRP injection which may require new tests and imaging scans.
This may result in the PRP being administered on a subsequent consultation as opposed to the initial assessment. For this reason, it is advisable that any scans or test results be bought along to assist with your consultation.
There is no need for a referral and the consultation is Medicare rebatable.
Cost of the Procedure
Cost of the first PRP Injection is $180. The injection is not rebatable from Medicare. Should you decide to trial subsequent injections three weeks apart, a discount will be applied. The procedure incurs an additional consultation fee which is rebatable through Medicare.