Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection

What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection?

Platelet-rich plasma injection, or PRP injection, is a medical procedure known as orthobiologics. It utilises a concentrated form of your own plasma separated from your blood, to promote the healing of musculoskeletal injuries. 

Our blood is made up of many factors such as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from our lungs to the rest of the body and white blood cells are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases. Platelets help to stop bleeding by forming clots and contain growth factors which promote healing, while plasma contains proteins, water, and enzymes, and acts as a medium to carry red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

The growth factors in PRP stimulate cellular activity, which then promotes tissue healing, reduces inflammation, and potentially improves function. PRP injections are commonly used in orthopaedics, sports medicine, and dermatology to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis and tendon injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and shoulder tendonitis.

platelet-rich plasma
Platelet-rich plasma is high in growth factors which help stimulate and accelerate healing.

How does platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection work?

During the PRP procedure, a small amount of blood is drawn from you. The blood is then processed in a centrifuge to separate the blood into its different components. Once separated, the platelet-rich plasma is carefully removed and injected (while guided by an ultrasound) into the targeted area of your body, such as your joints, tendons, or muscles.

Platelet-rich plasma contains 3 times more platelets and growth factors than the rest of the blood. It encourages and accelerates healing, helps reduce inflammation, and may improve blood flow to the area, which facilitates the healing process.

PRP therapy
Platelet-rich plasma is extracted and injected into the targeted area to promote healing and tissue regeneration.

Benefits of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection

  • Enhances tissue healing and regeneration
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Promotes collagen production
  • Potential improvement in joint function
  • Alleviation of pain and discomfort
  • Non-allergenic and immune reaction-free (autologous transplantation)
  • Minimal risk of side effects or complications
  • May facilitate blood flow to the treated area
  • Can be used in various medical fields (orthopaedics, sports medicine, dermatology)

What conditions can platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection treat?

PRP injections can be used to treat the following conditions:

In addition to the conditions mentioned above, PRP injections can also be used to treat a plethora of issues ranging from general inflammation to aiding post-surgical recovery. 

Many famous athletes — golfer Tiger Woods and tennis star Rafael Nadal among them — have received PRP for various problems, such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. See article.

The Ministry of Health Singapore has instructed that PRP injections in Singapore can be used in the context of ligament and tendon injuries.

PRP injection
PRP injections are a type of minimally invasive regenerative medicine that has little to no side effects.
Dr Puah is the only Singaporean trained by Dr Laurent Lafosse at the Alps Surgery Institute, Annecy, France.

Dr. Laurent Lafosse is a pioneer of modern shoulder surgery and has had numerous scientific papers published in international peer reviewed journals. Dr. Puah is one of Dr. Laurent Lafosse's trained fellows.

What results can I expect?

When considering PRP injections, you can expect various potential outcomes, depending on your condition. After the procedure, you can expect the pain in the affected area to increase slightly as healing and regeneration accelerates. This will subside eventually and you will be able to observe improvements in the weeks following your procedure. 

Post-procedure you can expect the following:

  • Improved tissue healing and regeneration
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • Potential improvement in joint function and mobility
  • Enhanced collagen production
  • Possible alleviation of symptoms related to chronic wounds or non-healing ulcers

After the PRP procedure, ice the area 2-3 times a day to help reduce pain and inflammation, refrain from strenuous activities and avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Depending on your specific condition, you may experience gradual and progressive improvements over time. Results will vary from person to person, depending on the treatment area, severity of the issue, and your overall health. Your orthopaedist can give you a better idea of what to expect based on your individual needs and circumstances.

How many treatment sessions do I need?

The number of treatment sessions required for PRP injections varies depending on your specific condition and individual response. In some cases, a single PRP injection may be sufficient to achieve your desired results. However, for more complex or chronic conditions, multiple treatment sessions may be recommended.

Generally, a treatment plan may consist of 2 to 3 sessions spaced several weeks apart. The exact number of sessions needed will be determined by your orthopaedist based on your progress and response to the treatment.

Your orthopaedist will be able to provide you with a bespoke treatment plan, tailored to your needs and requirements. 

Dr Puah KL is our Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Artisan Sports & Orthopaedic Surgery. He used to serve the sports service of Singapore General Hospital - the highest volume trauma centre for orthopaedics in Singapore.

Frequently asked questions
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Feeling aches and pains?

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For emergency appointment, please call or Whatsapp us at (65) 8909 8877. We will arrange for a limousine to send you to our clinic.
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