Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint arthritis in which the protective cartilage cushion of the joints wears down causing pain and damage. With more medical advancements focusing on regenerative /alternative therapies, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has recently been considered a crucial treatment for managing pain and tissue-damage in osteoarthritis.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet Rich Plasma as the name suggests is a plasma suspension that is rich in growth factors and platelets to help in the tissue healing process. Researchers believe that injecting PRP growth factors isolated and processed from one’s own blood in the damaged tissue region will help in an accelerated healing process by promoting cellular rejuvenation. Therefore, PRP is not just a pain relief therapy but also encourages damage reversal.
Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Procedure
Platelet Rich Plasma preparation is simple but should be prepared by experienced technicians or clinicians for safe and contamination-free optimum concentrations. The procedure starts with drawing of a small amount of blood from the arm followed by collecting the blood in a centrifuge tube to separate the blood components and obtain a concentrated platelet suspension in the plasma. At this point, variations in timing or isolation procedure might lead to different concentrations of the blood components. Once an optimum concentration of platelets is reached by the doctor, the next step is to inject this in the joint areas affected by osteoarthritis after numbing the region with local anaesthesia. For precise injection methods, researchers have also taken up the practice of ultrasound-guided injection technology to take the aid of advanced imaging. After the injection procedure is done, patients are generally asked to rest for some time before discharging them from the hospital or clinic. Although there might be some redness and pain after the injection, they are supposed to subside eventually.
Recovery after PRP injection Procedure
After the PRP injection procedure, doctors generally advise the following points:
- For the first three days, ice the joint regions for at least 20 minutes every two to three hours.
- Tylenol might be prescribed for managing pain and discomfort.
- It is better to avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, as they might inhibit the positive effects of PRP.
- Doctors might advise osteoarthritis patients to get plenty of rest by avoiding activities that put weight on elbow or knee joints.
- For the purpose of not putting much stress on knee joints (given that it is knee osteoarthritis), patients are advised to use crutches or a walking frame after their PRP injections.
- Last but not the least, it is always better to follow the doctor’s advice for any kind of follow-up appointment regarding PRP injections or other treatments for osteoarthritis.
Is Platelet Rich Plasma Effective for Osteoarthritis?
Platelet Rich Plasma is an experimental therapy and if you are considering PRP injections for treating osteoarthritis, you should be thorough with your doctor seeking their advice and proper consultation. The crucial point for effective PRP treatment is efficient handling by experts to gain optimum concentration of platelets in the isolated plasma. Besides that, proper injection procedures also play an important role in the magnitude of pain-relief and tissue-repair benefits. If you are looking for a free consultation on Osteoarthritis regenerative PRP treatment in India, contact [email protected]