What is PRP ?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a natural compound created from your own blood plasma that has been enriched with concentrated platelets. These “platelets” are little packages of various growth factors made by your body that help heal and repair damaged tissue.
The growth factors and other healing factors present in PRP include: platelet- derived growth factor, transforming growth factor beta, fibroblast growth factor, insulin-like growth factor 1& II, vascular endothelial growth factor, epidermal growth factor, Interleukin 8, keratinocyte growth factor, connective tissue growth factor .
Who Should Consider PRP ?
Patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis who have significant ongoing pain despite weight loss, physiotherapy and appropriate analgesia.
Studies suggest that when PRP is injected into an arthritic knee, patients can expect improved pain and function for 6 - 12 months. Studies suggest 80% of patients experience significantly reduced pain & stiffness, with improved function for 6-12 months. Hence if you suffer moderate pain, it will reduce to mild, mild to none and severe to moderate.The less severe the osteoarthritis, the longer the effect. Some patients will still have reduced pain for up to 2 years. When used in conjunction with a cartilage procedure, such as a marrow stimulation, it also improves the quality of the cartilage produced.
A second injection is usually recommended about 4 weeks later, with top-up injections depending on symptoms at 6, 12 or 24 months. The second injection is reccomended to lengthen the period of pain relief. The use and clinical validation of PRP is still in the early stages, but recent randomised controlled trials of PRP versus Hyaluronate (otherwise known as “Synvisc”), showed greater improvement, especially in those with severe osteoarthritis. If used during surgery after marrow stimulation, PRP helps the new cartilage formation significantly.
While scientific evidence is mounting on a regular basis as to the benefits of PRP over other injectable options, it is not a miracle cure. Not all patients respond, and the effect fades with time. It works best in conjunction with weight loss and low impact exercise.