Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Knee Injection to treat Osteoarthritis
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet rich plasma, also known as PRP, is a natural and cost-effective alternative to surgery. It is designed to rebuild cartilage, repair ligaments and a torn meniscus and reduce swelling and pain. It sounds like a wonder-drug and has been shown to act like one. However, it’s not a drug; it is a high concentration of endogenous (meaning one’s own) blood platelets. Platelets are fragments of cells in the blood and are best known for their ability to help the blood clot. They contain a variety of proteins called growth factors that can speed up a patient’s healing process. Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities orthopedic knee surgeon, Dr. James Mazzara is actively involved in treating certain patients with PRP therapy following an injury.
How Does PRP Work?
Platelets play a significant roll in the body in healing tissue. The blood is composed of plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. The platelets act as an injury’s “first responder.” Its job is to help the injured area by constructing new tissue, revascularize the injury and stop the bleeding.
The process involves separating the blood cells from the plasma (liquid part of the blood.) This gives the doctor a concentrated amount of platelets which are put back into the plasma. Dr. Mazzara then injects the platelet rich plasma into the area of injury or disease. It works by stimulating the natural immune repair mechanisms and supplying the building blocks necessary to build new tissue.
Is Platelet Rich Therapy (PRP) Effective?
Even though the science behind PRP continues to evolve and the indications are constantly changing, the future of platelet rich plasma looks encouraging in healing sports injuries. Researchers believe that growth factors play a role in healing, but it is unclear precisely how PRP aids healing. It does not work for everyone, but people who have seen improvements usually experience healing over several weeks. Patients who experience a reduction in pain after protein rich plasma treatment find the results to be permanent. Some patients will need follow-up treatments if the pain returns.
What Other Conditions can Platelet Rich Plasma Treat?
We know that research has shown platelet rich plasma can help with knee pain. It may be particularly helpful for those who have had no success with other treatment. Other conditions being studied for PRP effectiveness are:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sprains and strains
- Instability and pain in various joints
- Injuries throughout the body, including the knee, shoulder, ankle and elbow
- Chronic pain conditions
For more information on platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) please contact the orthopedic offices of Dr. James Mazzara, knee surgeon in Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.