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Can PRP Therapy Help My Knee Arthritis?

Platelet-rich plasma injection of the knee

Pain, lack of mobility, stiffness, and swelling are frequently associated with knee problems such as arthritis or injury. These symptoms can have a significant impact on your ability to perform and enjoy your daily activities, but you may want to avoid surgery. If that’s the case, you may want to talk to your doctor about PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy, since it can help provide relief for some patients.

In this blog, the orthopedists at Specialty Orthopaedics in Harrison, NY explain how PRP therapy can help with knee issues such as arthritis:

What is PRP?

Blood contains platelets, a solid component that helps your blood clot. It also contains a large number of proteins that help support cell growth as well as growth proteins that help heal injuries.

PRP is plasma that has a greater concentration of platelets – and growth factors – than usual. It can be prepared by drawing a patient’s blood and separating the platelets from the other blood cells. A process called centrifugation is then used to increase their concentration, and it’s then combined with the remaining blood.

What does it involve?

After the PRP is prepared, it can be injected into damaged tissues. It’s believed that the concentrated proteins can help grow healthy new cells and help your body’s tissues heal faster.

How is it used to help knee-related problems?

PRP has been used to treat a variety of knee injuries, especially for patients who have tried other treatments without success. It may be used to help the following knee-related problems:

  • Instability and pain in the knee
  • Osteoarthritis in the knee
  • Chronic tendon injuries, such as jumper’s knee (inflammation of the patellar tendon)
  • Post-surgery healing

What are the benefits of PRP?

PRP can provide the following benefits:

  • Effectiveness – A study of patients with osteoarthritis in both knees found that PRP therapy provided significant pain relief.
  • Safe – The treatment usually causes few or no side effects.
  • Less invasive – Compared to knee surgery, PRP is a much less invasive alternative.
  • Low risk of adverse reactions – Since your own blood is used rather than a foreign material, the likelihood of an allergic or other adverse reaction is extremely low.

What is recovery like after PRP?

Your doctor may suggest that your rest your knee after PRP treatment, but if that’s the case, it’s usually because of the injury or condition itself. PRP injections usually don’t keep you from going about your daily activities.

You may have a little tenderness at the injection site, and you may also be asked to start physical therapy. The results of your PRP injections probably won’t be immediately noticeable but instead should occur within the next few weeks.

Who is a good candidate for PRP therapy for knee pain?

You may be a good candidate for PRP therapy if you have mild to moderate osteoarthritis or a tendon injury that’s causing chronic knee pain. Rest, medication and physical therapy are often the first types of treatment used, so if these don’t provide enough relief, you might be a good candidate for PRP therapy.

In general, PRP therapy may not be an appropriate choice if you have cancer, cerebral palsy, or Parkinson’s disease. If you have a current infection or multiple medical issues, PRP therapy may also not be a good option for you.

Your doctor can give you a specific recommendation based on your knee problem as well as your general health.

If you’re experiencing knee pain, make an appointment today with Specialty Orthopaedics of Harrison, NY to find out if PRP therapy can help.

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