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
  • The vial is placed in a centrifuge that separates the platelets from the red blood cells (this increases the concentration of potent growth factors in the platelets)
  • The concentrated PRP is injected into the knee to encourage natural healing and to help repair the damaged cartilage

What Are the Results for PRP Therapy for Knee Arthritis?

While the full effects of PRP treatment for arthritis are still in their infancy (compared to PRP’s other orthopedic uses), current clinical studies reveal promising outcomes.

Collectively, research thus far has demonstrated positive results in PRP therapy for knee osteoarthritis in the following ways:

  • Reduced knee pain and stiffness (with one-to-two PRP injections) within six weeks and three months
  • Improved function of the knee, as the result of diminished pain and discomfort
  • Lasting results, with patients having a significant reduction in pain for up to a year following injection(s)

Additional research may show evidence of PRP helping to prevent continued degeneration of knee cartilage.

PRP and Stem Cell Therapy

As part of our Triangle Area orthobiologic treatment offerings, EmergeOrtho physicians are also experts in providing stem cell therapy. PRP stem cell treatment may improve tissue regeneration where advanced degeneration has occurred in the knee cartilage. This means that patients may experience a more rapid reduction in knee arthritis pain from combined PRP and stem cell treatments. Additionally, patients are often able to successfully return to their favorite sports and activities.

Are you a Candidate for PRP?

If chronic knee pain due to osteoarthritis is preventing you from performing daily activities and diminishing your quality of life, PRP for arthritis may help to alleviate your symptoms. The best way to know if you qualify for PRP therapy is to schedule a consultation with an EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region doctor now.

Or, if you would like to learn more about why patients choose EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region for PRP and stem cell treatment in NC, call us any time at 919-220-5255.

Dr. Benjamin Petty is the Director of The Orthobiologic Center of EmergeOrtho-Triangle Region.

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