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During the past several years, much has been written about a preparation called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and its potential effectiveness in the treatment of injuries.

Many famous athletes — Tiger Woods, tennis star Rafael Nadal, and several others — have received PRP for various problems, such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. These types of conditions have typically been treated with medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. Some athletes have credited PRP with their being able to return more quickly to competition.

Although blood is mainly a liquid (called plasma), it also contains small solid components (red cells, white cells, and platelets.) The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries.

PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual.

Treatment process

To develop a PRP preparation, blood must first be drawn from a patient. The platelets are separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation. Then the increased concentration of platelets is combined with the remaining blood.

PRP can be carefully injected into the injured area. For example, in Achilles tendonitis, a condition commonly seen in runners and tennis players, the heel cord can become swollen, inflamed, and painful. A mixture of PRP and local anaesthetic can be injected directly into this inflamed tissue. Afterwards, the pain at the area of injection may actually increase for the first week or two, and it may be several weeks before the patient feels a beneficial effect.

Effective and safe treatment

PRP specialists such as Alliance Medical can advise on the suitability of the injections whether you are currently undergoing treatment for a sports injury or have other joint and musculoskeletal conditions including chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis and other painful joint ailments. Injections have proven to be an effective and progressive technique for reducing pain and promoting healing in the body leading to recovery and restoring quality of life. The technique has been widely adopted with great success. 

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Sports injuries as well as wear and tear conditions, diagnosed and treated minimally invasively using Ultrasound and X-ray guidance

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