Platelet activation plays a key role in the body’s natural healing process. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient’s own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems.
Traditional methods of managing knee pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA) include anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and surgery. In the past decade, researchers have examined whether injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be used to manage OA of the knee.
Growth factors are found in platelets in your blood. PRP operates under the theory that injecting growth factors from the blood into an injured area will cause new tissues to form. That is supposed to reduce inflammation in the tissue. When growth factors interact with local cells, they signal them to initiate cell division and migration. This promotes tissue formation.
You may be a good candidate for PRP if your symptoms of OA of the knee are not manageable through conventional methods such as anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, and physical therapy.
As part of the procedure, your doctor will draw blood from your arm. Then, they’ll put the blood sample into a centrifuge for 15 minutes. The centrifuge will separate your blood into:
- red blood cells
- white blood cells
Your doctor will use that sample to extract PRP. They will numb your knee and inject the RPR into the area. You’ll then rest about 15 minutes before being discharged.