What Can PRP Knee Injections Treat?
Due to the complexity of the joint there are a variety of conditions that can cause pain in the knee. When conservative treatments do not alleviate pain, PRP knee treatments can help accelerate the healing process of a number of knee conditions.
PRP for Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects the knee. Daily impact causes wear and tear to the cartilage in the knee. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen in patients 50 years and older. Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis often include knee pain, stiffness and welling.
Recent research from the Hospital of Special Surgery (HSS) found that PRP knee injections improved pain and function in up to 73% of patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis and appeared to delay the progression of osteoarthritis.
PRP for Knee Deterioration
One of the most common knee tendon injuries is a patellar tendon injury. The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the top of the shinbone (tibia). The patella attaches to the quadriceps muscles by the quadriceps tendon. Working together, the quadriceps muscles, quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon straighten the knee. Conditions associated with the patellar tendon are patellar tendinitis, patellar femoral syndrome, chondromalacia patella and patellar instability.
An injury to the ligaments and menisci in the knee can be very painful and debilitating. A ligament and meniscus injury can occur through athletic training, sports competition, or from everyday falls and accidents. PRP knee treatment can help treat partially torn ACL, LCL, MCL or menisci.
PRP for Bone on Bone Knees
The articular cartilage is the tough tissue that covers the ends of bones. In the knees, lesions or tears are very common. If the lesions go all the way through to the bone it is called a full-thickness lesion. PRP for bone on bone knees can provide nutrients and oxygen need to help slowdown and heal the damage to the articular cartilage.
What are Autologous Blood Injections?
For decades, platelet rich plasma injections, sometime referred to as autologous blood injections, have been used in operating rooms for trauma wound healing and bone formation stimulation in spinal fusion surgery. Today, physicians use PRP injections for chronic tendon injuries, acute ligament and muscle injuries in the knees and other joints.
A human’s blood contains four main components: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. Platelets naturally move to an injured area in the body to help it heal. Within the last twenty years, researchers have discovered that when activated, platelets release healing proteins called growth factors. These growth factors are a capable of stimulating cellular growth, proliferation, healing and cellular differentiation.
What is the process of Autologous Blood Injection in the Knee?
To begin treatment one of our trained physicians will remove a vial of blood from the patient’s arm, typically 30 milliliters. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds that separates the four main components of the blood. Once the components are separated, the platelet rich plasma is removed. The plasma is then injected back into the injured area 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, will also be added into the injection.
The entire process takes less than 15 minutes. Response to treatment will vary with each patient. Most patients will require 1-3 sets of PRP injections. Each set of treatments is spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Since PRP is an autologous blood injection, obtained from your 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 seeking PRP knee injections in the Dallas, Arlington or Fort Worth area, please contact OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine®.