Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an innovative and increasingly popular treatment for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting over 32.5 million Americans.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease or simply wear-and-wear, can affect any joint in your body but most commonly occurs in your hands, hips, and knees. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness. The severity of symptoms can vary from mild to debilitating.
There’s no cure for arthritis, but fortunately, there are many effective ways to treat and manage it, including PRP.
At Orange Orthopedic Associates, board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon James M. Lee Jr., MD, offers PRP to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis and, possibly, repair damaged cartilage.
What is PRP therapy?
One of the reasons PRP therapy has become so popular is that it uses your body’s own healing properties to reduce swelling and pain and accelerate recovery.
During a PRP therapy session, we draw blood from your arm. We then place your blood in a centrifuge, which spins it quickly in order to separate the platelets and plasma from the other substances in your blood.
Platelets help blood clot, and they contain growth factors and proteins that stimulate tissue regeneration and promote healing. Plasma also contains proteins as well as nutrients, glucose, and antibodies.
When we eliminate the other parts of the blood, we create a platelet-rich plasma concentration that makes a potent healing and anti-inflammation treatment. After creating this concentrated plasma, we inject it into the area of your body that needs healing.
How can PRP help those with osteoarthritis?
While PRP is still considered experimental in some treatment areas, it’s been proven effective at treating symptoms of osteoarthritis. One study found PRP to be a safe and effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis, and another found PRP to be more effective at treating osteoarthritis than corticosteroid injections.
The goal of using PRP to treat osteoarthritis is to reduce inflammation, slow down the damage to the cartilage, and restore movement and mobility. It also helps promote lubrication in the joints, reducing friction. It may repair the damaged cartilage as well.
Another benefit of using PRP is that side effects are minimal because we use your own blood as treatment. Some people experience soreness or redness at the injection site, as with any shot in the arm.
Do you have osteoarthritis and want to learn more about PRP? Call us at Orange Orthopedic Associates to make an appointment with Dr. Lee or request one online.