Platelet Rich Plasma Injections (PRP)

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) is a growth factor rich medium that is in your own blood. Research has shown PRP to be effective in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions. Platelet rich plasma injections (PRP injections) can be used in the treatment of many musculoskeletal injuries including:


  • Tennis elbow (common extensor tendinopathy)
  • Golfer’s elbow (common flexor tendinopathy)
  • Jumper’s knee (patellar tendinopathy)
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hamstring tendons
  • Adductor tendons
  • Gluteal tendons
  • Shoulder tendons (Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy)

  • Knee MCL tears


  • Hamstring
  • Calf
  • Quadriceps


  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Hip Osteoarthritis


PRP can be made in many different ways, from expensive commercial systems, to simple manual methods that can be performed by a doctor in their rooms. To date, there has been no “optimal” way to produce PRP, and depending on the injury being treated, different ways are likely to have different effect.

Blood is taken from your arm just like when you have a blood test.

The amount taken depends on the area being injected and varies from 12-24 mls.

It is then spun in a machine to separate the blood into 3 layers.

The bottom layer is red blood cells, the top layer, platelet poor plasma and the middle layer, platelet rich plasma.

This middle layer is where the liquid for injection is then removed.

Injections in certain tissues will be performed under ultrasound guidance to improve their effectiveness.



It is important that PRP injections are only a part of managing your injury. They need to be combined with the other important treatments your doctor will discuss with you as a part of your rehabilitation program.


Patients are required to stop taking anti-inflammatory tablets one week prior to the PRP procedure.

If you are unable to do this then explain this to the doctor.

Patients should not stop taking their regular aspirin or blood thinning medication.

Injections often take 30 minutes to be completed.

If possible it is recommended that you have someone drive you home. The doctor will warn you if this is necessary.

Ideally you should rest the area that has been injected from excessive use for at least 24-48 hours before returning to your rehabilitation program.


As the procedure uses your own blood there is no risk of HIV, Hep B, Hep C or other blood borne infections. It has also been shown to have anti-bacterial activity against common skin bacteria, which are the major source of infection in joint injections (As with any injection there can be some pain/discomfort as well as bleeding and bruising associated with PRP.

The use of platelet rich plasma is contra-indicated in the following conditions:

  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Acute infection
  • Local skin damage or infections


  • Bleeding/Bruising
  • Infection
    • To reduce chance of infection all injections are done under sterile conditions.
  • Pain/Discomfort
    • Injections can be uncomfortable. Where possible local anaesthetic is used to improve comfort.  You may feel discomfort for 1-2 days.
  • Some people may experience a vasovagal episode during or post injection where they feel lightheaded and 
sweaty. This is self-limiting. and passes after minutes.


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