Most Americans will experience pain and stiffness from arthritis at some point in their lives. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the knee, hip, shoulder, back…even the fingers and toes.
Commonly known as degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is estimated to affect one in four U.S. adults, making it one of the most common medical conditions Americans will face. It is a chronic joint disease that slowly degenerates the protective cartilage in your joints and causes chronic inflammation. It can be successfully treated with platelet-rich plasma therapy, which heals injured tissues and decreases painful inflammation.
How PRP Therapy Works
There are different kinds of cells found in our blood. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets all serve critical functions in the body. These include carrying oxygen, fighting infection, and repairing damaged tissues.
Platelets help stop bleeding and release growth factors and proteins that promote tissue repair and decrease inflammation. Platelet-rich plasma therapy concentrates these important healing components and reintroduces them in the specific injured area to stimulate tissue repair. Its powerful healing properties can improve the degenerative effects of osteoarthritis and stop its progression (1).
Is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy Safe?
Platelet Rich Plasma is the most common orthobiologic used to treat orthopedic conditions. Orthobiologics are cells and cellular molecules used to heal orthopedic injuries. There are hundreds of research studies in the peer-reviewed medical literature showing the safety of this treatment for orthopedic conditions (2-13).
How Effective Are Platelet Rich Plasma Treatments for Joint Osteoarthritis?
High-quality clinical studies have proven that PRP is more effective than standard treatments of exercise, steroid injections, and hyaluronic acid (gel) injections. PRP has been shown to improve pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis in particular.
Several factors play a role in the successful outcome of these treatments, including the severity of the osteoarthritis, medical comorbidities, medications, and the patient’s nutritional status. It is important to evaluate the patient as a whole to determine proper treatment and to support a positive outcome.