Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition in which the protective cartilage in bones wears away. It is the most common form of arthritis with millions affected in the United States alone. So far, there is no ‘cure’ for osteoarthritis but several treatments are used to reduce pain and delay the progression of arthritis.
The treatment options include physical therapy to strengthen the muscles, maintain a healthy weight, pain medication management, steroid and/or hyaluronic acid injections, or total joint replacement surgery in severe cases.
Fortunately, regenerative medicine allows regeneration of cartilage to provide a lasting solution to the condition. Because surgery may not be ideal for everyone, physicians have been analyzing the effects of a relatively new treatment called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
PRP injections fall under the category of regenerative medicine, a new treatment technique that uses the patient’s own blood for the healing components, such as plasma and platelets. Leading orthopedic clinics, such as Phoenix Shoulder and Knee, offer PRP injections to help patients heal from acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Platelet-rich plasma injections have been found to reduce pain and improve function in majority of patients with knee osteoarthritis. In addition, PRP therapy has also shown to delay the progression of the condition.
PRP therapy or injections involve injections of plasma, rich in platelets, and derived from the patient’s own blood, into the site of injury or damage. The platelets and other healing factors stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanism to allow the damaged tissues to regenerate.
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