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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a relatively new treatment for muscular, skeletal and orthopedic pain. It utilises part of the body's natural inflammatory process to accelerate and enhance healing. PRP is an autologous blood derivative, which means it's a blood product obtained from you and then given back to you. This is an important principle in regenerative medicine.

Platelet Rich Plasma vs. Corticosteroid
Long term reduction in Pain


American Journal of Sports Medicine 2010

Osteoarthritis Degenerative knees Bursitis
Muscle tears Tendon injuries Ligament injuries


How It Works

Platelets in the blood are an integral part of forming clots, which stop bleeding. However they have another vital role in healing. They contain chemicals called growth factors, which have been shown to cause cells to multiply and form new tissue. PRP contains a much higher concentration of platelets than normal blood. This means that higher concentrations of growth factors are being released into the injured area, which accelerates and enhances healing. When compared to cortisone injections, PRP shows better results over a longer period of time. While the effects of cortisone are rapid, they are often followed by a decline in the patient’s condition. PRP, however, shows slower but greater long-term improvements and less injury recurrence. Your doctor will assess your condition and determine whether you are a suitable candidate for PRP treatment.

A nurse will take your blood (as in a normal blood test), and spin it in a centrifuge, which separates the blood into its various components. The bottom layer consists of red blood cells, while the top layer consists of plasma and platelets. This top layer is the platelet rich plasma (PRP) that is removed for the treatment. The PRP is then photo-activated using Adi-Light technology. This entire process takes about 30 minutes. The PRP is then injected directly into the injured area.

Benefits for the Patient
Light activation of PRP has been shown to:

  • Significantly reduce the intensity of pain
  • Significantly reduce the duration of pain
  • Accelerate healing

Before PRP Treatment
You should eat and drink healthily before a procedure. Avoid fatty foods, coffee and alcohol. Anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. cortisone, nurofen, celebrex) should not be taken for 2 – 3 days before or after the treatment.

After PRP Treatment
Following treatment, you should rest and avoid running. After a knee procedure you should minimize walking. Expect gradual improvement in your condition over a week or so.

PRP is taken from your own blood, so there is no risk of disease transmission or allergic reaction. PRP may cause a temporary increase in pain and swelling. There can be a localized pressure effect from the injection of fluid.

Length of Treatment
The usual course of treatment for knees involves three treatments one week apart. Other injuries may only require one treatment. Your doctor can discuss your treatment with you in more detail.


Photoactivated Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for a Traumatic Knee Chondral Lesion 

Lifecare Prahran Sports Medicine Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Freitag J, Barnard A, Rotsein A.


To evaluate the effect of combining photoactivation therapy with platelet-rich plasma injections in the treatment of a traumatic chondral lesion of the knee. A 38-year-old man presented with left-knee pain and swelling following a basketball injury. MRI demonstrated a full-thickness lateral tibial plateau chondral flap with subchondral cyst formation and marrow oedema. The patient underwent a course of photoactivated platelet-rich plasma (PAPRP) injections. Patient outcome measures included the numerical pain rating scale and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index 3.0 (WOMAC). Following treatment, the patient reported improvement in both pain and function as measured by the numerical pain-rating scale and WOMAC. MRI showed resolution of subchondral bone marrow bruising/oedema. No complications were noted. In this case report, PAPRP injections demonstrated improvement in all recorded outcome measures. Recognising the limitations of a single case report, the results highlight the need for more formal controlled trials to determine the potential use of PAPRP in the treatment of chondral lesions.

[PubMed - in process]


Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment Shows Potential for Knee Osteoarthritis

“We are entering into an era of biologic treatment, which is incredibly ideal, where you can use your own cells to try to help repair your other cells, rather than using a substance that is artificial,” Dr. Halpern said. “The downside is next to zero and the upside is huge.”… read more


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