As the human body ages, the joints begin to deteriorate. According to the CDC, an estimated 22.7% (52.5 million) of U.S. adults reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis. OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine offers PRP joint injections to patients suffering from arthritis and osteoarthritis in the Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth communities. Our team of double-board certified pain management and anesthesiologists offer a leading edge blood plasma treatment through Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Cartilage, a hard slippery tissue, covers the ends of the bones our joints and allows them to glide smoothly. As the body ages, the cartilage can begin to wear away causing inflammation, pain and stiffness in the joint. Osteoarthritis is a non-inflammatory form of arthritis that can affect any joint in the body and is typically diagnosed by an X-ray.
What are PRP Joint Injections?
PRP joint injections merge technology with the body’s natural ability to heal itself to help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Blood is composed of four main components: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. In recent years, research has shown that when activated, platelets release healing proteins called growth factors. Growth factors are a naturally occurring substance capable of stimulating cellular growth, proliferation, healing and cellular differentiation. When these growth factors are injected into an injured area of the body, they can help accelerate the natural healing response.
How Do PRP Joint Injections Treat Osteoarthritis?
The goal of PRP joint injections for the treatment of osteoarthritis is to reduce pain, improve joint function and to ultimately slow, halt or even repair the damaged joint cartilage.
To prepare for a blood plasma treatment, platelet rich plasma is extracted from a patient’s own blood. The treatment begins by removing a vial of blood, typically 30 milliliters. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge, a machine that uses high speeds to separate the four main components of the blood. Once the components are separated, the platelet rich plasma is removed. The plasma is then injected into the injured joint releasing three to five times the growth factors compared to normal human blood. These growth factors recruit and increase the proliferation of reparative cells. In some cases, an “activating agent”, which is either thrombin or calcium chloride may also be added into the injection.
The entire process takes less than 15 minutes. Most patients will require 1-3 sets of PRP injections. Each set of treatments is spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Response to treatment will vary with each patient. As PRP is obtained from the patient’s own blood, the risk of reaction is low. As with any injection, there is a small risk of injury to any structures in the area as well as a very small risk of infection.
If you are interested in blood plasma treatment and live in the Dallas, Arlington or Fort Worth area, please contact OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine at 817-472-2140.