Did you know Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection help knee arthritis?
Platelet Rich Plasma – or PRP – can provide pain relief to some patients. But it’s not a permanent fix. Nor is it covered by public or private health insurance.
It’s often touted as a “natural” therapy that harnesses the patient’s own healing powers.
For the procedure, some blood is drawn from the patient and put into a centrifuge. The machine spins the blood, separating it into different parts.
Platelets, growth factors and other blood components involved in tissue repair are collected together to produce the PRP. This concentrated mixture is then injected directly into the part of the body needing treatment, such as a sore joint.
Numerous studies have examined the use of PRP in patients with knee osteoarthritis, in which the cartilage providing cushioning between bones shows signs of wear.
Some studies suggest PRP is superior to other injectable treatments such as hyaluronic acid (HA) and cortisone.
In particular, PRP may result in up to a year of relief, compared to six months for HA and several weeks for cortisone.
However, other studies fail to demonstrate that PRP delivers such a lengthy benefit and indicate its duration is similar to HA.
One key weakness with this research is that not all PRP products are the same.
It reduce inflammation which, in turn, helps to temporarily ease pain and increase joint flexibility.
PRP seems to be most effective in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. “The worse your arthritis, the more likely it is not to be of benefit.
In the early stages of osteoarthritis, exercise and other conservative measures should be tried before invasive treatments,
Some doctors are concerned that patients are jumping to PRP injections without first attempting basic exercises.
It’s not easy for patients to make informed decisions about PRP. So, probably the best thing to do is start with what we know has some benefit – exercise.