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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in Osteoarthritis

What is Osteoarthritis?
In Knees with osteoarthritis(OA),the cartilage protecting the ends of the bones gradually deteriorates, joint fluid loses its shock-absorbing qualities and bones may begin to rub against each other which may cause the knee pain,swelling,stiffness,decreased ability to move and sometimes, the formation of bone spurs.

What are the stages of knee osteoarthritis?
OA of the knee develops gradually over several years. Itr can hard to treat as sometimes it is not detected until it has reached an advanced stage.
At times,people only begin to experience OA symptoms when the damage done to the knee can’t be reversed.
OA progress in stages. People with knee OA should pay attention to these stages and their symptoms to keep the condition under control.

Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis?
The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joints after repetitive use. Joint pain is usually worse later in the day. There can be swelling,warmth, and creaking of the affected joints. Pain and stiffness of the joints can also occur after long periods of inactivity, for example, sitting in a theater.

Risk factors of knee osteoarthritis:
Factors that may increase your risk of osteoarthritis include:
– Older age – Certain Occupations
– Gender – Genetics
– Obesity – Bone deformities
– Joint Injuries

What are the treatment options available for knee osteoarthritis?

There’s no cure for osteoarthritis as yet, but there are a number of treatments that can help to ease symptoms and reduce the chances of your arthritis becoming worse.

  • Conservative treatment which includes options like painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    (NSAIDs), and other measure like rest,exercise, diet control, weight reduction, physical therapy and
    mechanical support devices (Knee Braces).
  • Visco supplementation which is synthetic and works for 3 to 6 months and Autologous PRP Injection.
  • KNEE Arthroplasty (Total Knee Replacement)

PRP-Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelets: Human blood has a number of components including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are a component of blood whose function is to step bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries. Medical research has revealed that platelets contain a number of growth factors that helps in wound healing.
Platelet-rich plasma(PRP) is blood plasma that has been enriched with platelets. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is an old therapy and used extensively in specialties of dermatology, orthopedics and dentistry.

How is PRP prepared?
Your treating doctor will collect a small amount of blood from an accessible vein in your hand. The blood is then placed into a specialized centrifuge(See the picture below). The centrifuge separates out the platelet component from the rest and concentrates it. The final components (Platelets and growth factors) are injected into joints to accelerate the natural healing process.

What are the conditions for which PRP can be used?

    PRP therapy naturally stimulates and accelerates healing and regeneration in certain soft tissue injuries and conditions,including:

  • Knee Pain
  • Foot Pain
  • Ankle Pain
  • Sport Injuries
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Arm Pain
  • Hip Pain

How long does it take?
Generally, a PRP injection requires an initial visit to your doctor’s clinic to see if you would benefit from the injection, then a follow up visit for the injection itself. The actual injection process takes about 15 minutes . You will be seen at 3 to 6 weeks follow up intervals to assess for improvement and to ensure that there are no complications.

During Procedure:
As the PRP is being processed, the injured area may be numbed with a local anesthetic.
After the procedure, you may experience some mild soreness in the treated area post procedure. Analgesic medication is prescribed and you will be instructed to avoid all anti-inflammatory medications. Most patients describe mild soreness that resolves with mild pain relievers.

Post Treatment:
The response to treatment varies from person to person, and depends upon one’s own healing ability. Some people may only need one treatment, while others may need several. This is the time needed for the body to repair the area after the injection.
PRP shots may potentially eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as invasive surgery or long- term medication. A typical course of injection treatment will take 1-3 months. Rehabilitation exercises may be recommended to continue even after injections are finished.

Physical Activities:
PRP therapy is not a quick fix. The therapy stimulates the growth and repair which requires time and rehabilitation. Your doctor will work with you to determine when you will be able to return to your regular physical activities.
Preliminary studies have demonstarted that PRP therapy is associated with a reduction in pain and faster healing, and has decreased risks and costs as compared to surgical alternatives. In addition, because the patient’s own blood is used, there is no risk of rejection or disease transmission. As with any injection into the body, there is always a small risk of infection, however it is very rare.