Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a portion of patient’s own blood that is highly concentrated in platelets and healing factors. It is used to aid healing of tendons and ligaments.
Similar to a blood test, blood is taken from the patient and placed into a centrifuge system that spins the blood, separating it out into its component parts. The platelet rich plasma is then re-injected in to the tendon under local anaesthetic. Anti-inflammatory medications are avoided for 10 days before and 2 weeks after injection, so that an inflammatory and healing response can take place. Some pain and swelling (and even bruising) can occur, though this tends to settle within a couple of weeks.
PRP is used in my practice for certain patients with tennis or golfer’s elbow. There is evidence that both supports and shows little or no benefit in PRP, and as such not all insurance companies fund this treatment. Reviewing my personal experience has shown that two-thirds of patients improve by 75-100% (pain scores and quick DASH scores), and I therefore offer this as a treatment option.