You've been listed for a procedure called nStride-ACP (Autologous Conditioned Plasma) to treat pain from osteoarthritis. Please find below some information about the procedure, the expected outcome and possible problems for your information:
What is Platelet Rich Plasma nStride-ACP? nStride-APS (Autologous Protein Solution) is an exciting development in the treatment of osteoarthritis. nStride is a form of PRP (platelet-rich plasma) that is centrifuged twice. This means nStride-APS is enriched with specific growth factors and cytokines that inhibit multiple inflammatory signalling pathways, thereby addressing the pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory imbalance observed in osteoarthritis and promoting cartilage health. nStride is a relatively new addition to the Orthobiologics market. The latest update on the initial research studies have just been released and demonstrate ongoing improvements in pain levels following a single injection with nStride-APS in many patients for up to 3 years.
What's going to happen when I come in? A blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. This blood sample is then centrifuged twice. The plasma containing the platelets is then withdrawn. Dependent on the joint to be treated you may potentially benefit from an injection with local anaesthetic to numb the area. The APS is then injected into the joint. You will only need a small dressing to cover the injection site. The whole process will take about 30-45 minutes.
Is it going to be painful? The APS injection can still be a little bit uncomfortable. An injection with local anaesthetic can help keeping you comfortable if the affected joint is difficult to inject. Most patients tolerate the procedure well. You may experience some pain in the days after the APS injection, but normal painkillers will be enough to deal with that.
Possible side effects: Since the injection is made from your own blood, there should be no major side effects. You may experience mild pain/irritation for a few days and there may be some bruising.
Infection: This is a very rare complication following the injection. If you notice increasing redness, swelling and pain 3-10 days following the injection you should seek advice from your surgeon, your GP or a Doctor in A&E.
Likely outcome: Although ACP has been used for many years and although there is good scientific evidence to support its use, there is no success guarantee. APS supports your body's own healing mechanisms and it will take time for you to notice the difference. This may take approximately 2-8 weeks. During that time, you should experience a slow improvement in pain levels. Patients can potentially experience many months of pain relief following treatment with APS. The 3-year results of the initial research studies have just been released and demonstrate ongoing improvements in pain levels following a single injection with nStride-APS in many patients.
Restrictions following the nStride-APS injection: You can use your arm for normal light daily activities straight away. You can ice the joint for a few minutes several times a day if necessary. Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous work as well as sporting activities for 4-6 weeks to support the healing process.
Physio: This is important to support the rehab process and to maximise the outcome of the procedure.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID's): NSAID's can suppress the effects of the growth factors in the APS injection. You should therefore stop taking any NSAID's for 7 days before and after the injection. Commonly used NSAID's are Voltarol, Ibuprofen, Nurofen and Naproxen.