Platelet Rich Plasma

This is a product gaining mounting interest in the medical world. Its uses are numerous but clinicians must be cautious to ensure it is used in a way that can be backed up by scientific evidence. Platelet rich plasma is made when part of the constituent of blood of the patient is extracted from the patient’s blood. The platelets are important parts of the blood that carry numerous growth factors and compounds that naturally promote healing. The process typically takes 5 to 10 minutes of centrifuging the blood before the platelet rich portion is drawn off and used as a treatment.

Mr Arbuthnot uses platelet rich plasma (PRP) in 2 main ways:

1) for the treatment of tendon injuries

The medical world used to use the phrase “tendinitis” to mean pain and inflammation in a tendon. Developing research meant that it became apparent that the problem was not inflammation but degeneration of the tendon often due to numerous microtears and resulting in large areas of damaged tendon tissue. This was important for treatment of these problems. An “anti-inflammatory” injection of steroid was able to reduce the inflammatory effects of the damaged tendon (new vessel formation and swelling) but not treat the problem itself.

PRP allows a direct treatment of the damaged tissue itself. Mr Arbuthnot uses PRP to treat tendinopathy of the Achilles tendon, the patella tendon (Jumper’s knee) and the quads tendon. He has also used it to treat runner’s knee (iliotibial band syndrome)

Recently, John Terry of Chelsea FC underwent PRP treatment for a tendon problem.

2) for the treatment of early knee arthritis

There is mounting evidence that a course of PRP treatment in early arthritis may be very effective in the medium term for the treatment of knee arthritis. If the knee arthritis is too severe the treatment is unlikely to work. However, in mild to moderate cases, good quality trials have shown significant beneficial effects.

Some insurance companies still regard the evidence as too new, but it is possible with many to obtain this treatment. If your insurance company does not support this treatment, or you are not insured, there are self-pay options for this treatment.