Platelet-Rich Plasma: How Successful Is It?
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy provides a promising alternative to surgery by promoting safe and natural healing. Regenerative medicine is a promising new frontier. According to the National Institute of Health,
- PRP Therapy provides a non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical approach to sports injuries and chronic musculoskeletal conditions.
- The less invasive approach PRP Therapy provides for these problems attracts thousands to the therapy each year.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment harness the power of the body’s considerable ability to heal itself. Using a patient’s own platelets, PRP injections work by expediting the healing process, particularly for injuries that are slow to heal and even chronic.
Does PRP really work?
For some conditions, platelet-rich plasma treatment is controversial and not solidly supported by science. Individual practitioners report dramatic results, but the supporting studies often include only a small sample of patients. Some studies show dramatic improvements, and some show the opposite.
There is no universally accepted “right way” to prepare a PRP injection. Several factors that could influence the success of a PRP injection are still debatable, including when to activate the platelets, whether white blood cells in the injection help or hinder the healing process, and how much fibrin (a blood-clotting protein found in plasma) should be included with the injection. In other words, there is no established protocol for PRP injections relative to any of the conditions that they treat.
As a result, there is no consensus on a “success rate” for PRP injections. Depending on the condition and the PRP injection preparation, a PRP injection may or may not work.
Platelet-rich plasma has been found to significantly enhance the healing process, and using a PRP injection for shoulder pain caused by rotator cuff tears, for Achilles tendon ruptures and for other soft-tissue injuries is becoming more common.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) treats various musculoskeletal problems. It stimulates the body’s healing response for tissue repair at the site of injury. While the best applications so far are for chronic tendinosis and osteoarthritis, a recent national orthopaedic meeting presented even more positive studies on the effect of PRP in arthritis.
Patients treated with PRP for either tennis or golfer’s elbow (tendinosis) showed a significant decrease in pain scores and a simultaneous increase in functional and sports/recreational activity scores at six months, one year and two years from treatment baseline. MRI in a limited number of patients compared to baseline demonstrated an improvement in appearance of moderate and severe tendinosis (58%) and partial tears (44%). Other studies have also showed the benefit of PRP in chronic patellar and achilles tendinosis.
In early research investigating PRP treatment for severe arthritis, clinical improvement is seen, as well as a positive effect on cartilage cells. In addition, multiple studies have followed patients for up to one year post treatment.
Patients treated with PRP for knee osteoarthritis, finding that pain scores significantly decreased, while functional and clinical scores increased at six months and one year from baseline. MRI evaluations demonstrated no progression of arthritis/compartment in at least 73% of the cases at one year. This is in contrast to some studies that suggest an annual decrease of up to 4-6% of cartilage volume (a worsening of arthritis) in knee osteoarthritis if left untreated.
So with PRP intervention perhaps we can delay some of the progression of arthritis. We have now treated patients with knee osteoarthritis with PRP and continue to see good results. The future looks bright for PRP and regenerative medicine.
After 24 weeks, nearly 84 percent of patients who received the PRP injections reported a 25 percent or greater reduction in pain, while 68.3 percent of the control group (p = 0.037) reported similar results.
Overview of PRP injections
Get more in-depth information on this cutting-edge treatment option.
Applications of PRP injections
Learn about injuries and conditions which may be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections.
Video: How do platelet-rich plasma injections work?
Are you ready to let your body heal itself?
Are You a Candidate?
PRP Therapy is typically prescribed for patients with moderate osteoarthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions that have failed conservative treatment options such as rest, medication, and physical therapy. Our Pain Specialist at Bay State Pain Associates will discuss your health history, injury and goals to determine if Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is for you.
Call for a Consultation
If you are interested in Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, or any of our other regenerative therapies, Our Pain Specialist at Bay State Pain Associates is ready to help. Call (508)436-2555 today to schedule!
The use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is an alternative treatment for many muscoskeletal and soft tissue disorders. In some cases, PRP treatments may be offered despite a lack of credible scientific evidence in the current literature. No guarantees can be made as to the outcome of treatment with PRP. As with any procedure, there are always potential risks and benefits.
The information provided in this blog is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.