Advantages of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma is autologous, meaning it comes from the patient’s body, so it is natural and the injections carry few risks.There are several reasons why osteoarthritis patients might consider platelet-rich plasma injections:
- Other treatments for mild to moderate osteoarthritis can be unreliable or vary from person to person, and some have side effects or drawbacks:
- Physical therapy and/or weight loss can often improve but not always eliminate symptoms.
- Cortisone injections are proven to reduce osteoarthritis pain, but repeated injections can weaken ligaments and tendons over time, and may have a detrimental effect on healthy cartilage.
- Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as aspirin and ibuprofen can reduce pain, but long-term use can aggravate stomach problems, blood pressure and heart problems.
- Minor surgeries to treat osteoarthritis, such as arthroscopic debridement, have mixed results, and may be no better than placebo.
- Joint replacement surgeries are major surgeries that require long-term rehabilitation, and should be reserved for more debilitating cases of arthritis
- While more data are needed, research so far seems to be promising.