If you suffer from osteoarthritis in your knees, have you explored the procedure called platelet-rich plasma or PRP instead of knee replacement surgery? If so, it is important to find a doctor with extensive experience in PRP therapy. If you are looking for an osteoarthritis doctor then consider the specialists at Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania. They are experienced in performing treatment and can explain how the procedure works and when you should start seeing improvement for your knee pain.
Platelet-rich plasma is a therapy that is used to help reduce inflammation and promote the healing of soft tissue. Here are some basic facts about platelet-rich plasma:
- Platelet-rich plasma is used to reduce inflammation and encourage healing of cartilage
- A PRP injection can cost from $500 to over $2000
- Side effects are minimal and may include dizziness or mild nausea
How Does PRP Work?
Platelets play many roles in the body.
- Platelets encourage blood clotting so when someone gets cut they do not bleed excessively
- Platelets contain proteins in our blood that assist wounds in healing
- The theory is that by injecting areas where there is inflammation present or damaged tissue with large concentrations of platelets, it will help to heal wounds.
The PRP Process
Platelet-rich plasma is developed by first taking a small sample of blood from the individual who will be getting the treatment. The blood is placed in a centrifuge, spinning it at a very high rate of speed, separating the platelets from the other components of the blood. The platelets are then injected in the injured knee.
Because of the high concentration of platelets in the injection site, the theory behind this treatment is that the platelets will help enhance and hasten the healing.
Platelet-Rich Plasma for Different Knee Conditions
Common in patients over 50, osteoarthritis is the result of years of athletic activity and every-day impact on the knee. This constant pounding to the knee can lead to pain, swelling, stiffness, and cause wear and tear to knee cartilage.
Injections using platelet-rich-plasma have been shown to improve function and reduce pain in almost 75 percent of patients that have osteoarthritis. The PRP also seemed to slow and even delay the advancement of osteoarthritis.
PRP for Knee Injuries
Knee injuries that occur because of an athletic competition or from falls can be debilitating and also aid in cartilage deterioration in the knee. Using a PRP injection to the area of the injury can help injuries heal faster without invasive surgery methods.
PRP can also be a form of treatment for knee tendon issues. Patellar tendon injuries are very common and are linked with patellar-femoral syndrome, and the instability of the patellar.
PRP May Eliminate the Need for Surgery
Successful treatments using PRP injections may either postpone or even take the surgery option off the table. Because PRP uses blood from the patient, the chances of a negative reaction are very slim.
Most patients will need more than one injection, each injection given with about 4-6 in between. The PRP injection takes a little more than ten minutes for the procedure.