My DIY PRP Knee Injury Experiment #1, 2, 3, and 4

This is a blog post about injecting my blood into my knee because I tore my meniscus and didn’t really want to do surgery and a $1000 for PRP seemed ridiculous.

And my knee hurt.

I did a lot of research about surgery, PRP, stem cells, etc.

Then I decided to take matters into my own hands…

Whoa…

Of course it’s not something you ‘should’ do. You ‘should’ always have a ‘professional’ do it.

But sometimes you do what you got to do.

This started with a desire to do PRP, but the cost was too much and it was a little difficult the first few times that you can see below.

I failed twice and stabbed myself countless times.

But basically I ended up doing autologous blood injection (ABI) which is a whole blood injection vs. PRP which is when they separate the red blood cells and just use the plasma and platelets.

Actually autologous just means your own and PRP is that too, but not usually referred to as.

This goes from most recent to lesser so.

Update Feb 9th, 2020

So it’s been a few weeks… maybe 3. So since the last time I’ve tried 3 more times.

The 2nd time did not work because I could not get blood and got tired of pricking myself.

The 3rd time (a few weeks ago) I did get blood, but then it coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out. I lost 96%, but there was still a little blood residue in the syringe and I added BPC 157 to it and then injected that.

The 4th time (about 4 days ago) I did get blood easy compared to the 1st time (below). It took one prick and before I did I added a little BPC to the syringe and then withdrew about 4.ml.

So I learned I have to work fast or the blood will coagulate. They use something called sodium citrate??? I think for PRP to stop the blood from coagulating.

I was going to centrifuge my blood this time, because I know it will work, but my down transformer broke a few days before so I could not use the dremel tool.

Oh well, I will use the whole blood and BPC.

And this time my plan was to do my right knee, left a bit and shoulder.

Success 🙂

I learned some tricks to make withdrawing blood easier by opening the syringe a little so it has a little suction to begin.

As the 1st time I had pain for about 3 days post injection, but it’s less. I injected mostly into my right knee about 2.5ml and about 1ml in my left and 1ml in my shoulder.

In my shoulder I did intramuscular injection and that actually felt good^^. IDK I hit the right spot.

Recently I have been doing those in my shoulder with BPC.

Learn more about my experience with BPC 157 (blog post coming soon).

Probably the best knee injection video I found:

Update a few days later (January 20th, ’20)…

I felt a bit increase in pain in the days to follow, but gradually decreasing as it’s 3 days later.

I have done a little bit of research regarding injecting whole blood vs. PRP. And it seems some people say that red blood cells have more inflammatory markers in it.

Which may not be what you want, but…

My limited research shows that there are cytokines (which can be positive or negative), and maybe hormones in red blood cells too that could help.

So it seems to depend on what your goal is.

If you have arthritis then maybe the PRP would be better to reduce inflammation, but if you have an acute injury like I do then I don’t think it will hurt to inject whole blood.

Actually it might hurt more initially in the few days prior. As I am updating this as we speak and I felt more pain after the injection. Now it’s 3 days later and the increased pain has gone down some.

I think more tests have been done around PRP than whole blood.

I could not find much information on whole blood injections and how they compare to PRP.

I do think that it might be better to take your blood in a fasted state. Eating does cause inflammation (no matter what you eat) and those markers may be in your blood when you draw it.

Some studies show that fasting for 24 hours or longer will increase stem cells in the body. Some said 24 hours and others 2-3 days.

And if that means they are floating around in your blood or if they are released after eating or before or where they are exactly I don’t know.

Some questions I had were:

  • Where is testosterone in your blood? (red cells or white cells)
  • Where is IGF-1 in your blood? (red or white cells)

I think those would help to heal an injury. It sounds like platelets are good, but are they the only good thing in blood that could help an injury?

Are ‘whole blood injections’ cause for concern?

I am not sure what I have read or completely understood some studies, so do correct me if I am wrong but I think I found a few studies suggesting whole blood injections into the knee could adversely affect it and cause articular cartilage damage.

Maybe many whole blood injections could be bad.

Not sure on this. I emailed one of the doctors on Researchgate I found to try to clarify what I read.

If I understand correctly this study with dogs suggests whole blood injections are bad. Although they used both “homologous” and autologous blood.

And it’s related to hemophilia.

This one suggests that if IL-4 or IL-10 is added no adverse affects are found.

Wonder if PRP would be included?

I found another page by the Stone clinic about blood in the joint.

Said that there are good things and bad things to blood in the joint.

Red blood cells bring oxygen to the area to help heal and repair, but said repeated exposure is “toxic” to articular cartilage.

He said that white blood cells are inflammatory, but consume bacteria and injured tissues.

And he said platelets are the ones that contain growth factors that stimulate healing.

In regards to the needle size

I did further research as maybe I was thinking the needle wasn’t long enough, but I found an interesting post saying that for thin individuals 1 inch is fine and for obese people 1.5 is better.

I used a 1 inch needle.

Now I feel more confident that the blood was injected into the knee since pain increased in the days following and I may have had some sort of leakage from the puncture to the knee capsule that leaked to the outside membranes, but not externally.

OG post… mid January 2020

In a previous post I mentioned I had a torn meniscus. Being the moron that I am I decided I wanted to give DIY prp (platelet rich plasma) a go.

I was super happy yesterday that my needles arrived. I wasn’t sure that they would since Japan is so strict and you can’t buy them here. I was actually so excited last night that I hardly slept.

Then today we got the rest of the tools we needed: some rubbing alcohol and alcohol wipes and then I went home to begin.

And I learned…

Withdrawing blood is hard.

Way harder than I thought.

I had very little luck. I went first for the veins they usually go for and once got a little with a syringe and doing it myself was very difficult with one hand and I was moving too much.

Really stupid.

You need this thing called a butterfly needle adapter thingy.

So then I did a little more googling and saw that I could stick myself in the foot since that would be easier since I could use 2 hands.

But it wasn’t.

I probably stuck myself in the foot 20-30 times and then later I tried my hand (you can also do that). But no luck.

It’s easy to get under the skin, but not easy to get in the vein and draw blood. And then doing it to yourself makes it twice as hard.

About 2-3 hours later and probably like 50 or so needle pricks later I finally said, “what the hell”.

I’ll try my left hand and go into my right arm since those veins look big.

And I actually I had some luck.

With my left hand???

It’s really retarded though trying to do this yourself with the tools I had. But I managed to withdraw maybe 3-4ml of blood.

Awesome.

Ohh…

Yeah, it’s really scary at first sticking yourself with a needle, but then after a few times lesser so.

I did some googling before and saw some different make shift centrifuges to separate the platelets from the red blood cells.

I made one with a dremel tool I have and some of that instamorph moldable plastic.

I didn’t actually use it though.

Because I just spent like three hours trying to get blood and ideally I wanted to get two syringes full and actually inject both knees.

But I didn’t want to lose the blood that I had worked so hard to get should something go wrong with my DIY centrifuge and I didn’t really have a lot to begin with.

So next step.

This was way easier.

So I had watched a lot of videos on knee injections and decided to try it sitting.

You can get it done sitting or lying down depending on the doctor.

And some doctors will use an ultrasound too.

Since my injury is in the meniscus there is little blood flow there. So even if I inject pure blood in there it still has platelets and that can help, however it’s not as concentrated as the PRP.

Anyways I did it sitting.

Like the videos I saw I marked off the upper and lower bones and the patella tendon with a pen and then marked a spot with an unclicked pen in the middle roughly.

And of course clean the skin with alcohol before.

Then you want to inject towards the center of the knee so it’s at an angle.

You don’t want to hit the meniscus so you go about an thumbs width above it.

This guy explains knee injections way better than I could.

Took some concentration that’s for sure cause you don’t want to hit the bone, meniscus, or patella tendon.

So you are going in on an angle like roughly 45 degrees or so.

Yeah, so at first I felt a light prick and the needle is 1 inch long and I am going slow and then it breaks the skin, “ouch” and then it goes in a little and then I felt a give (which from what I learned was that was when it entered the knee capsule).

And then I slowly inserted it until all the way inside.

And then I made it all the way in (1 inch) so I try squeezing the blood out and it was kinda resistant and I had to squeeze it pretty hard.

I was a little frightened that I might suddenly move. Like when the doctor used to test your reflexes by tapping on your knee??

And be in a sh** load of pain.

But o.k we gradually fully injected the blood into the knee. And now we are slowly taking it out.

Yay.

I did it.

It’s been about an hour and it feels a little sore and funny since there is more fluid in the knee.

At first there was a little swelling out side the knee so I thought maybe it didn’t go into the knee capsule.

I got a 1 inch needle and some said that was fine and one even said 13mm which I think is 3/4 of an inch, but most others said 1.5 inches. Next time I would get the 1.5.

So if it didn’t go into the knee capsule then that’s not good.

But I remember the “give” like they said. So I am hoping that it did. Anyways…

They say some pain after a shot is normal and I feel it so…

I am going to take it easy. And then in a week if I am still alive;-)

I’ll try it again.

With my learned lessons…

And I’m looking forward to BPC 157 (peptides were mentioned in the last post).

Since that is just an injection in the knee vs. trying to withdraw, separating the blood and re-injecting it.

It’s more simple and the results sound pretty good.

Advice

If you are crazy enough to try this… At least get a butterfly needle. That thingy or even better find a friend who is a nurse to withdraw your blood. That’s what I need.

The next steps won’t be nearly as hard.

I think making a centrifuge is not hard.

You can search.

  • DIY centrifuge

It was almost a total failure, but I’d say I may have had some success if that blood when into the joint. The swelling initially on the outside of my knee after the injection made me think otherwise, but that went away.

I feel a little more pressure on the front side of my knee, but more pain inside now than at first which I think is good.

Next time will be a bit better.

Really PRP should be way cheaper. It’s way overpriced and it should be covered by insurance.

So what they do is…

Withdraw your blood, spin it in a machine, dump out the red blood cells, inject the rest of it into your injured area and then charge you $1000 (for one shot).

That’s what they charge here in Japan and in most other places I have seen.

Although in some places you may $500 or maybe even less in some countries.

Related:

How to withdraw blood if you’re an amateur

Trying to heal my meniscus…

And other injuries… so here are some other things I am throwing at it.

  1. The usual intermittent fasting which actually may improve the quality of your blood before PRP. Eating increases inflammation in your blood.
  2. Lots of spirulina
  3. Lots of chlorella (CGF)
  4. Taking collagen (not a fan as it’s animal or fish parts) anyways until…
  5. I got some colostrum
  6. BPC 157 is in the mail
  7. And we’re doing rehab

Lots of isometrics…

And a girlfriend would help… especially if she is a nurse;-).

Lastly, it’s been a long day of sticking and stabbing myself so I am looking forward to eating something now.

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