Although arthritis typically affects older people, symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is an affliction that can affect many joints of the body, most notably the knees, have been found in people as young as 30. Osteoarthritis causes stiffness, swelling, and pain in affected joints.
While there is no way of completely curing the condition, there are a number of methods that may be employed to reduce the symptoms, including PRP therapy.
How PRP Therapy Is Used For Treating Osteoarthritis
The procedure is centred on obtaining a blood sample from the patient’s body to be centrifuged and used further. After drawing blood from the person’s arm, the doctor puts the vial into a centrifuge that spins at high speed, separating the different components of blood. This makes it easy to extract the platelet rich plasma and inject directly into the site that requires treatment.
Platelets are responsible for blood clotting and helping wounds to heal. They also produce many growth factors that help healing. Centrifuging the blood enables the doctor to prepare injections that contain a high concentration of platelets which can be injected into the injured area. Since the PRP concentration is about 2–5 times greater in these injections than it is in the untreated blood, PRP therapy speeds up the healing process.
Advantages of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP is autologous, which means that the biological material needed for the procedure is derived from the patient’s own body. This automatically lowers the risks that may be associated in other treatment methods that require a donor, and eliminates the chances of tissue rejection.
Unlike other forms of treatment used for osteoarthritis, PRP therapy does not have any drawbacks. For instance, cortisone injections can weaken healthy tendons and cartilage, anti-inflammatory medicines can cause stomach problems and fluctuating blood pressure, and surgeries can have mixed results and may not always be successful.
With PRP therapy, however, other than a very low (1/10000) infection risk found in any injection, there are no risks attached. Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, PRP injections are one of the safest treatment methods, and may be incorporated alongside physiotherapy therapy and lifestyle adjustments for effective results.
Evidence for PRP Helping Treat Osteoarthritis
A study, conducted in 2013, on patients who had osteoarthritis in both knees saw the effect of PRP and placebo injections. Participants who received PRP therapy for one or both knees saw a greater reduction in stiffness and pain, as well as improved functioning of the knee(s) after 3 months. In contrast, those who received a placebo treatment had little improvement. It is to be noted that for this study, the platelet concentration used was 3 times that of normal blood.
Another review looked at a number of controlled clinical trials conducted to test the effectiveness of PRP injections for knee osteoarthritis. It concluded that not only did PRP therapy significantly reduce pain, but also showed no harmful side effects, thereby establishing the scope of PRP treatment.
The skilled staff and doctors at RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy specialize in regenerative medicine and stem cell treatment. Call us at 1 855 847-3975 to make an appointment at any of our locations in Toronto, Thornhill, and Cambridge, ON; Richmond, BC.