Platelet Rich Plasma Validated as Osteoarthritis Treatment

A study using PRP demonstrated significant linear improvements in pain and function for osteoarthritis patients.

The first American study that positions Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) as a viable means in managing knee osteoarthritis was published in the December issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

The study, authored by Dr. Steven Sampson of the Orthohealing Center in Los Angeles, details the account of 14 patients with primary and secondary knee osteoarthritis. The patients recieve three platelet-rich plasma injections in the affected knee at four-week intervals with one-year follow up.

The study demonstrated significant and almost linear improvements in pain and function with a majority of the patients expressing favorable outcomes at 12-months after the PRP treatment.

“PRP is no longer a treatment that only benefits high-profile athletes,” Sampson said, in a press release. “The positive effects of this therapy are quickly spreading into many areas of mainstream medicine.”

“This pilot study sets the foundation for a large multi-center clinical trial to further demonstrate if PRP is safe and effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.” Sampson said, “We are facing an epidemic with patients suffering from arthritis at earlier ages. Unfortunately most conservative options are limited and address the symptoms of inflammation, rather than address the biochemical process of the disease.”

PRP is a non-surgical healing treatment used in many fields including plastic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and dentistry. Blood is made up of primarily red and white blood cells, plasma, and platelets.

Platelets are known to release powerful healing proteins or “growth factors” that coordinate repair and regeneration of soft tissue. By spinning the blood in a machine or a centrifuge, doctors are able to isolate the platelets, increasing their concentration up to 1000%.

These growth factors are then injected under ultrasound guidance directly into the injury to stimulate healing. Using cutting-edge technology, doctors are able to guide the platelets within a millimeter of the target site for maximal benefit. Based on current research, soft tissue injuries are the most responsive to PRP. This includes tendon and ligament injuries, and muscle tears. Because of a growing need for non-surgical treatments for arthritis, PRP has been applied to osteoarthritis of joints throughout the body.

The implications from this study invite the need for a large-scale research effort to further position PRP as a strong candidate in managing osteoarthritis.

The Orthohealing Center is a comprehensive Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation facility specializing in non-surgical orthopedics and sports medicine. The center’s treatment focus attempts to enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself by combining time-tested treatments with state-of-the-art technology.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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