What is a platelet injection ?
A platelet injection is a simple, natural and innovative method of treating numerous orthopedic conditions (tendonitis, muscle or joint injuries, osteoarthritis…).
This technique involves injecting platelets (containing growth factors from the patient’s own blood) into the damaged, poorly vascularized areas to help stimulate healing.
Growth factors act on :
- Neovascularization (formation of new blood vessels in the damaged area),
- Collagen fiber regeneration
- Cell activation to promote tissue restructuring
This triggers the natural processes of tissue healing and restructuring which helps decrease pain and enables a return to normal activity and long-term patient remission.
What precautions should be taken before a platelet injection ?
It is recommended to eat a light meal before the procedure.
The week before the platelet injection, it is essential to stop taking anti-inflammatories as they may decrease the efficacy of the injection.
You may feel pain after the injection, so it is recommended you bring some paracetamol that you can take immediately after the procedure.
What does a platelet injection involve ?
The procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes and involves several steps :
1 – Sampling
As with a blood test, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient by the assistant operating nurse.
2 – Centrifugation
The blood sample is then centrifuged to separate the platelets (which contain the growth factors) from the red blood cells.
3 – Preparation for injection
After centrifugation, the platelets are separated from the plasma. The assistant operating nurse prepares the syringe for the injection. The injection process can then begin.
4 – The injection
The injection site can be identified and the nature of the inflammation visualized using ultrasound. Generally used for tendon or intra-articular platelet injections, this technique can be an additional comfort for the surgeon and the patient.
After application of a sterile gel and preparing the site, the ultrasound-guided platelet injection is performed using the latest generation equipment (Toshiba, Applio 3000). The surgeon follows the needle on the screen and injects the sample at the exact location of the pain.
Injection under analgesic gas
In some cases, and if the patient wishes, the platelet injection can be conducted under nitrous oxide, a medicinal gas composed of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide.
It provides an analgesic effect (pain killing) as well as a feeling of relaxation for the patient.
Rapid effect :
- The patient is relaxed within 3 minutes and no longer feels any pain.
- The effect wears off 3 minutes after stopping inhalation and the patient totally recovers their mobility so can walk and drive normally.
The nurse places the mask on the patient a few minutes before the injection. The patient must then hold the mask in place and breathe normally. The nurse monitors the patient throughout the procedure.
What happens after the platelet injection ?
There are no more risks or complications for the patient with a platelet injection than with a traditional injection. However, it is normal to feel pain for 7 to 10 days after the injection.
It is important not to use ice or anti-inflammatories for 21 days (3 weeks) after the injection as this will reduce the efficacy of the latter.
The patient must not move about too much during the first 48 hours following the injection.
It is recommended to resume sports activities after 10 days of rest.
The beneficial, pain-killing effects of the injection should be felt within 7 to 10 days and will continue to progress over 2 months.