Autologous blood injections (ABI) harness the healing properties of blood to naturally accelerate healing of tendon injuries/degeneration and osteoarthritis, without subjecting the body to significant risk. The tendons are relatively avascular, the process of healing in a tendon tear is often delayed. Repetitive injury at the same site leads to poor healing and myxoid degeneration within the tendon. While injections of steroid and local anaesthetic into the tendon along with a rehabilitation program are a good first line of management, various studies have confirmed that injecting autologous blood under imaging guidance into the tendons stimulates a healing response. Unlike the anti-inflammatory effect of steroids, blood initiates an inflammatory response within the tendon leading to accumulation of various growth factors which in turn leads to angiogenesis and repair of the tendon.
PRP Injections Explained
Using the patient’s own blood, specially prepared platelets are taken and then re-injected into the affected area under ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy. These platelets release substances known as “growth factors” that lead to tissue healing.
PRP injections may assist in easing pain and symptoms or:
Rotator cuff tears
What is involved in the procedure?
This procedure takes about 10-15 minutes.
Do not take anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, etc) for one week before or after the injection, as this may limit the treatment benefits.
What happens during the procedure?
An MRI and/or ultrasound may be performed prior to the injection to ensure a proper diagnosis and exclude any condition that would be better treated surgically. Depending on the condition, a series of 1-3 injections may be required, separated by approximately 6-8 weeks.
Are there risks involved?
As with all medical procedures, there are risks. Rare minor skin infections can occur, which are treated with antibiotics, as well as an infection of the deep soft tissues. Patients have also been known to have pain in the first week, but can be controlled with paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medication.
The patients can continue with their rehabilitation program after 2-3 weeks. The procedure can be repeated after 1- 2 months if required. Please feel free to contact our radiologists if any further information is required.
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