Platelet Injection

Viscosupplement Injections Stem Cell Treatment


What is it and why?

  • Injection of concentrated platelets derived from the patient's own blood.

  • Growth hormones stored within the platelets are released into the arthritic joint and stimulates cartilage growth.

  • This is a NICE approved procedure that must be done under strict audit rules as available evidence is not robust.

  • Treatment does not involve Home/self-help
  • Treatment involves Hospital
  • Treatment involves Daycase procedure
    Daycase procedure
  • Treatment does not involve Inpatient procedure
    Inpatient procedure
  • Treatment involves Local anaesthetic
    Local anaesthetic
  • Treatment does not involve General anaesthetic
    General anaesthetic
  • Treatment does not involve Regional block / Spina
    Regional block / Spina
  • Pain

    Worse for 2+ weeks

  • Mobility


  • Daily activities
    Daily activities


  • Driving


  • Leisure activities
    Leisure activities


  • Light exercise
    Light exercise


  • Heavy exercise
    Heavy exercise


  • Light work
    Light work


  • Heavy work
    Heavy work


  • Intimate



What does it involve?

  • Injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the affected knee joint.

  • You will need a series of injections for this to be effective.

  • Whole blood is harvested from a patient (similar to a blood test). The volume is variable; between 10ml and 60ml.

  • This is then processed through a centrifuge to separate the blood into three components. 

  • Some studies show that further separation, into leucocyte poor plasma, has improved benefits.

  • The PRP is then injected into the knee joint; a course of two or three injections may be necessary. 

  • NICE supports this treatment, as long as it is done in keeping with good auditing and clinical governance in place.


  • This is an outpatient procedure where your blood will be taken, processed and then injected into the affected joint as PRP preparation. This may take up to three hours to complete.

  • You may not be able to drive after the injection.

  • Repeated injections will be required.

  • You should still continue with other physical therapy methods.

  • It is recommended not to take anti-inflammatory tablets during the PRP treatment as inflammation is an essential part of healing damaged cartilage.


  • Some studies show that these injections may decrease the pain in a select group of patients.

  • Some patients also report a decrease in the swelling.

  • In some patients, these injections may slow down joint wear. However, it is difficult to identify who will benefit from this.

  • This may delay the need for more invasive surgery.

Limitations and side effects

  • Knee pain may not completely diminish.

  • For some patients, pain may get worse after the injection. It is not possible to predict who will become worse after the injection.


  • Exacerbation of pain (14%), infection, redness, persistent swelling (which may take between two and four weeks to settle) are reported risks.

  • Some may develop dizziness, sweating or fainting at the time of the injection.

  • Overall, this is a low-risk procedure.


  • This is a low cost option for both patients and the NHS

  • Patient: Cost may vary depending on local arrangements. Some commissioning bodies do not authorise the use of these injections, so this may have to be done under a private setting. This can cost up to £250 per injection plus the additional cost of a private consultation.

  • NHS: £600 to £1500 per series of injections based on local arrangements and the type of harvest system used.

What if no treatment is done?

  • Ongoing pain.

  • Arthritis may deteriorate and affect your activities of daily living (ADL), family life, working environment and leisure activities.

  • If the condition progresses, you may require more complex and demanding procedures.

  • If your arthritis progresses significantly, no further treatment may be available.

  • You might regret not opting for treatment earlier.

Viscosupplement Injections Stem Cell Treatment