One of the most exciting recent advancements in pain management has been the introduction of platelet rich plasma therapy. It is known as PRP therapy for short, and is showing promise for knee arthritis in a new research study.
Prior to being introduced in the world of musculoskeletal medicine, platelet rich plasma treatment has been used for decades in cardiovascular medicine, ophthalmology, urology and wound care.
Recent studies have been showing excellent outcomes from PRP therapy for soft tissue tendinitis, ligament injuries, and now arthritis.
This knee study was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery and published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 22 patients were injected with platelet rich plasma into knees that had moderate arthritis and were causing pain. They did not include severe end stage arthritis in the study. Participants included males and females with an age averaging 55 years.
Platelet rich plasma involves a simple blood draw from the patient with the whole blood being spun down in a centrifuge for approximately 6 minutes. Most of the resulting product is discarded, however, the top layer is concentrated with platelets and growth factors and that is the PRP.
In this study, 6 mL of PRP was injected into the arthritic knee and patients were followed for a year afterwards. The study looked at pain scores along with functional outcomes. In addition, MRIs studies were performed looking at the amount of cartilage before and after the injections.
The outcomes of the study were impressive. Even with just one PRP injection, patients had significant pain relief that lasted the whole year. In addition, the functional outcomes improved significantly in the bulk of the patients.
Also, MRIs studies showed that in three fourths of the patients, no further cartilage degradation could be seen. In the normal arthritis situation, 4 to 6% of individual’s cartilage degenerates each year with active arthritis. In this study, the PRP appeared to prevent knee degeneration in 3/4 of the patients.
This was a very exciting small study. The hope is that when a larger study is performed, it will show statistically significant excellent outcomes in all of its variables as well.
Arizona Pain Specialists offers platelet rich plasma injections for both soft tissue tendinitis and ligament problems along with osteoarthritis at multiple AZ pain centers.
Arizona Pain has four Phoenix pain clinics across the Valley along with accepting over 50 insurance plans including Worker’s Compensation, Personal injury liens, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, CIGNA, Medicare, Medicaid along with self-pay and many others.
For one number scheduling call 602-507-6550 today.