PRP treatment for Patella tendinosis requires only a small amount of blood from the patient. Blood (usually around 10-60ml’s depending upon what prp company is used) is withdrawn and placed in a plastic test tube/disposable container. Blood contains plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. This test tube/disposable container is then placed in a machine called a centrifuge that is located in the doctor’s clinic or outpatient surgery center and is spun for approximately fifteen minutes. After spinning, the red blood cells and concentrated platelets are separated. The concentrated platelets that are responsible for accelerating the healing process are then extracted from the disposable in the centrifuge. The syringe of platelet rich plasma is now ready to be injected into the patient. Before injecting, the area of injury may be locally anesthetized by your doctor so that the actual injection is slightly uncomfortable.
Your doctor may use imaging such as fluoroscopy or dynamic musculoskeletal ultrasound to place the needle that delivers the PRP directly into the area of injury (patellar tendon). To ensure the accuracy of the placement of the platelet rich plasma, a diagnostic ultrasound is used. Then a needle attached to a syringe containing the prp is guided by ultrasound into the areas of injury. After the procedure, a simple Band-Aid is applied. Because there is no surgical incision involved there is little or literally no pain immediately after the procedure.
The increased presence of these platelets in areas where blood would otherwise rarely go, has been shown to regenerate ligament and tendon fibers.
This treatment may be considered better than surgery for many reasons. It is an outpatient procedure with little to no risk of infection at the injection site and requires no general anesthesia. Most recent studies have shown a success rate of 80 – 85%. Some patients experience only partial improvement, but most have had complete recovery because it stimulates healing and replaces degenerative tissue with new tissue. Its use has largely increased in recent years. The major plus point about this therapy is the use of patient’s own blood, therefor is no risk of any communicable infections & rarely any danger of allergic reactions.
Patients may be under observation for a few minutes to about half an hour. There might be some discomfort in the area of the injection that can even last up to a few days and the discomfort can get worse too, but it is temporary and is because of an inflammatory response which has just been stimulated.
When home, patients can use ice over the injected area, elevate the leg, limit physical activities, and stay comfortable as much as you can. Your doctor may prescribe some analgesics to relieve pain, but not an anti-inflammatory medication because the treatment is designed to set up an inflammatory response, so you don’t want to stop that process with medications.
Many patients usually respond just after their first treatment, but a follow up is generally scheduled six to eight weeks after the injection to evaluate the patient’s progress. Some patients may need up to three injections.