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.
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.
The separated PPP, PRP and Red Blood Cells after being placed and spun in the Centrifuge
Studies have shown that at follow-up almost 90% of chronic plantar fasciitis sufferers are completely satisfied with treatment outcomes. Pain levels had diminished from 9.2 out of 10 to 1.1 from a single injection with the benefits being seen 10 months on from the injection. PRP has also 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Patients suffering from the followed would not be considered as suitable candidates for 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.
Some recent studies include:
For more information regarding PRP Treatment, please call us on 0114 221 4780