About 23 percent of adults (over 54 million) in the United States suffer from arthritis. It’s a debilitating joint disease that can limit one’s ability to do certain things.
Traditionally, arthritis is managed through rest, occupational or physical therapy, use of certain drugs, and sometimes, surgery to correct damage in the joints.
There’s a novel treatment for osteoarthritis that’s becoming popular. This new treatment is called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection.
What’s a PRP injection and how does it work?
PRP injection is a new treatment for managing pain associated with knee osteoarthritis. It is based on the idea that the body can heal itself. Proponents of PRP have this theory that by isolating the platelet-rich plasma, damages in the cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones can be treated. The ‘healing’ is brought about by the growth factors in your plasma. By injecting the PRP growth factors, you can cause new cells to form, helping heal an injured part.
Does it work?
Researchers are still gathering more evidence for the efficacy of PRP injections for arthritis. However, there are studies showing that following 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-ups, patients who have had PRP injections experience:
- Reduced pain levels at each follow-up appointment
- Significant improvement in their physical function
- Experience some adverse effects but were no more significant than the other types of injections
- Some studies suggest that PRP injections may even delay the need for knee replacement surgery.
Who can benefit from PRP injections?
You may benefit from PRP injections if you’re suffering from chronic pain associated with joint degeneration such as osteoarthritis.
PRP injections are still relatively new so you may ask your provider if this treatment can benefit you.
If you’re suffering from knee arthritis and wondering if PRP injections can help ease some of the symptoms, our specialists at Ozark Orthopaedics can help. For appointments, you may call us at (479) 443-7862.