Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. In the United States, upwards of 30 million American adults are affected by the disease. And, until recently, the main conservative means of helping reduce the symptoms of painful osteoarthritis have been weight loss, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and injection therapies.
With the emergence of regenerative medicine solutions such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, qualifying patients can take advantage of the healing properties of PRP for arthritis. Learn more about how board-certified, highly-skilled EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region physicians have harnessed this orthobiologic treatment to reduce pain and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Orthopedic PRP Therapy to Treat Knee Osteoarthritis
PRP therapy has been used to help aid in the healing process for several orthopedic injuries and conditions from tendonitis and fractures to shoulder impingement and more. Only more recently, have clinical trials and research explored the use and benefit of PRP treatment for knee osteoarthritis. This serves as promising news considering that the knee joint is the most common joint affected by osteoarthritis.
Affecting mostly people age 50 and above, knee osteoarthritis wears down the cartilage of the knee causing symptoms which can include:
- Stiffness in the knee joint
- Swelling of the knee
- Pain exacerbated by long periods of rest, increased and vigorous activity, and changes in weather
And, as mentioned earlier, since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, patients have historically had to turn to a variety of conservative treatment methods to ease their symptoms. When these treatments have failed to help alleviate pain and stiffness, surgical intervention is typically the next course of treatment. Platelet-rich plasma injection has made it possible for a patient with knee osteoarthritis to have an additional conservative treatment option before choosing surgery.
How Does PRP for Arthritis Work?
To apply PRP therapy for knee osteoarthritis, your EmergeOrtho doctor will perform the following steps:
- A small sample of your blood is extracted and placed in a lab vial