24 May Could Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Aid Knee Osteoarthritis Recovery?
Aging is associated with becoming achier and generally less mobile. As we age, we might notice we are slightly slower to get up in the morning, or our joints are stiff, clicking and creaking as we get up. For many Americans, this is also associated with significant pain – meaning they are unable to go about their normal day to day lives. The most common cause of chronic joint pain is osteoarthritis – which is often referred to as degenerative or wears and tear arthritis. It is one of the most common conditions in the United States and effects something in the region of 10% of the entire population. This amounts to millions of Americans suffering silently every year. Current therapies, whilst somewhat effective, aren’t completely effective and new options are being explored. One of these is platelet-rich plasma therapy – and new research suggests it has a promising future in the treatment of osteoarthritis
What is arthritis? How do I know if I have osteoarthritis?
Arthritis literally means pain in the joints. It can be caused by a whole host of different conditions, however the most common is osteoarthritis. It occurs in all of the joints of the human body but most often affects the hip or the knee. Osteoarthritis is often referred to as wear and tear arthritis. This is because osteoarthritis is literally wear and tear of the spongy material in the joint known as cartilage. In a healthy knee, this cartilage acts as a shock absorber, stopping the two bones of the knee rubbing together. If this occurs (as it does when the shock absorbers are worn down in a knee with arthritis) then there is significant pain and inflammation.
What does platelet-rich plasma therapy do?
The treatment provides a new and exciting treatment option for a whole host of diseases – not just arthritis. It works by taking a sample of the patient own blood. The patient’s blood is then centrifuged and all the different components of the blood are separated out into their different constituents. One of these constituents is platelets. Platelets usually work to plug holes in blood vessels and stem bleeding – however, they also release a whole host of different “growth factors”. Growth factors work to increased growth of cells they interact with. By extracting these platelets and injecting them into a knee without the spongy cartilage – we can in theory help that cartilage to regrow. This reduces pain and deformity of the joint. Hopefully, in the long run, this helps the patient get back to their best.
If you or somebody you know is suffering from osteoarthritis – it is best to get in contact with a specialist center that offers this treatment. This is because it is not often offered by your family practitioner (due to the fact it is so new).
Disclaimer: Whilst the information in this article can act as a helpful guide to your current pain problems – it is not meant to be taken as a diagnostic tool. If you are worried about the pain in your joints then get in contact with a doctor.