Osteoarthritis is one of the most common joint disorders in the US, affecting around 10% of men and 13% of women above the age of 60.
Traditional methods of dealing with the condition include anti-inflammatory medication, massage therapy, physical therapy, and surgery. However, research suggests that PRP injections may also be used to alleviate the pain associated with osteoarthritis.
What are PRP injections?
PRP injections leverage growth factors that are found in your blood platelets. Platelets play an essential role in helping your blood clot and in tissue regeneration.
PRP injections are a concentrated mixture of your blood platelets. When injected in an infected area, the injections can facilitate healing and promote tissue growth.
What does clinical data suggest?
According to clinical evidence, PRP injections can be used to treat, or at least provide some relief from, knee arthritis. To assess their efficacy, several clinical studies were carried out.
In 2013, around 78 patients were chosen to test the efficacy of PRP injections. All of these patients had osteoarthritis in both knees. There were three different treatment options used. One was administered in each knee. The treatment options were as below:
- 1 PRP injection
- 2 PRP injections
- 1 placebo saline injection
All the patients’ knees were then observed and evaluated after six weeks, three months, and six months from the date of the administration. The results were as below:
- The knees that received PRP injections (both 1 and 2) noticed a significant reduction in stiffness and pain over a period of just six weeks. Other than that, the respondents also found it easier to move their knee.
- On the other hand, the group that received placebo injections complained that their knee functioning had reduced.
Who is a good candidate for PRP injections?
Most foot and ankle specialists start off the treatment by suggesting anti-inflammatory medicines and physical therapy. However, if these don’t bear fruit and don’t make the condition manageable, PRP injections may be suggested.
However, before going for your first dosage, you’ll be asked to stop taking anti-inflammatories for around seven days. The doctor will also conduct an MRI scan to evaluate the damage sustained by the knee. After the injections have been administered, you may need someone to drive you home and might need crutches for additional support.
If you’re looking for a reliable foot and ankle specialist in Miami, get in touch with the experts at The Foot & Ankle Institute of Miami Beach. Other than sports medicine treatments, they also specialize in PRP therapy.