Our blood is mostly made out of liquid called plasma which contains small components such as red blood cells, white cells and platelets. Platelets are best known for their properties which make it possible for blood to clot. However, platelets also contain proteins that help promote healing of tendons, muscles and other soft tissue damaged through injury and osteoarthritis.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is prepared by running a patient’s blood through a centrifuge. This removes the red blood cells, and creates a concentration of platelets. Growth factors with the concentrated plasma can be 5 to 10 times greater than contained in regular plasma. These growth factors can help stimulate the healing of soft tissue and joints
How does PRP work?
In preparation for the PRP procedure, blood is drawn from the patient. The platelets are then separated from other blood cells with a centrifuge, and their concentration is increased. This fluid, with concentrated platelets is prepared and injected into the patient’s damaged tissue.
Is PRP effective?
A growing number of people are turning to PRP injections to treat various orthopedic conditions, including osteoarthritis. PRP has been used in surgeries to promote cell regeneration since 1987, and has just recently been used to as an effective treatment for osteoarthritis pain.
One study, published in 2013, involved PRP injections in patients with osteoarthritis in both knees. After the study, researchers found that those whose knees were treated with one or two PRP injections saw a reduction in pain and stiffness as well as improvement in knee function.
Is PRP Therapy Right For You?
If you have experienced any of the following, PRP injections may be right for you.
– Osteoarthritis pain has affected your daily activities
– Other treatments you’ve tried haven’t worked
– Physical therapy to strengthen joint muscles has not helped
– You experience sensitivity to anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen
– NSAIDs do not provide adequate pain relief
– Steroid injections have not worked, or you want to avoid them