Protein Rich Plasma/ Autologous Blood injections

What are these injections for?

This is an emerging treatment for tendon, cartilage, ligament and other “connective tissue” injuries. Pain problems related to these tissues can be degenerative in nature – and can improve by stimulating a healing (inflammatory) response. Injecting Protein Rich Plasma (PRP) or Autologous Blood (AB) can promote a healing (inflammatory) response. In contrast, steroid injections suppress healing (inflammation) responses.

The sites injected include Achilles tendon, Plantar Fascia, Tennis Elbow and various other locations.

Do they work?

There is no strong medical evidence proving effectiveness. These injections are reserved for situations where no other similar treatments are likely to be superior.

What to expect:

The injection is performed as a day stay procedure. We provide sedation so discomfort is minimised. The procedure is performed under ultrasound. You may be asked to immobilise the area afterwards for a period of time. You will be in the day stay hospital for between 2-4 hours.

What are the risks?

A flare up of pain is common after the injection. Normally this is short-lived and lasts 24-48 hours. Occasionally prolonged pain flare-up occurs (over 7 days) but this is unusual. Infection can occur with any injection – but this is a rare event. It is possible to injure nearby nerves and blood vessels. This risk is minimized by use of ultrasound guidance of the injection. Whilst the risks are low, it is more important to be aware of them where a treatment has no proven benefit.

After the injection:

The NIPM nursing staff will call you the day after the procedure.

If you experience any severe pain, weakness or numbness, swelling, fevers, chills, bleeding /discharge from the wounds, or if you have any other concerns then please contact NIPM or the Day Hospital centre. If for some reason it is not possible to get in touch, please see your GP or attend your local emergency department for assessment.

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