The joint pain of arthritis can make it difficult to enjoy or engage in your life fully, but there are reasons to hope. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting over 32 million adults in the US alone. Known as a progressive “wear-and-tear” condition, OA develops gradually over years and decades as the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones in your joints deteriorates. Thankfully, numerous treatments are available for managing symptoms this brings about, such as pain, swelling, and stiffness, including platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Our expert team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, offers PRP therapy to treat arthritis, as well as other joint-related problems. Read on to learn more about PRP injections for osteoarthritis and how they might benefit you.
How PRP therapy works
During PRP therapy, a small amount of your blood is extracted and then sent through a centrifuge to gather a high concentration of your platelets. These platelets contain proteins that play important roles in healing by stimulating the development of new, healthy cells. Our team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine reinject the isolated PRP into a targeted area of the body that needs enhanced healing. So when you have osteoarthritis, PRP is injected into affected joint regions, such as your knees or hips.
Benefits of PRP therapy for osteoarthritis
Although research is ongoing, studies have indicated that PRP therapy is both safe and potentially effective in improving osteoarthritis symptoms in many adults. One study from 2016, for example, showed that PRP treatment benefits people with knee and hip osteoarthritis by relieving pain and improving function more so than several alternative treatments, such as hyaluronic acid injections.
Many people also appreciate the fact that PRP therapy can work in tandem with other treatments, such as lifestyle changes, therapeutic exercise, and anti-inflammatory medications. PRP therapy may significantly reduce the need for oral medications, too. PRP therapy is also minimally-invasive and convenient, usually taking place in a brief, in-office appointment.
What to expect after PRP therapy
PRP therapy is safe and gentle enough that you’ll likely be able to go back to your daily life as usual following your treatment. The risk for any side effects, such as pain at the injection site, is very low. After each session, results typically appear gradually over the course of several weeks or months. While individual results vary, you could experience improved symptoms for a good six months. Your provider can help determine the best treatment plan as far as any additional injections in the future.
To learn more about PRP therapy for osteoarthritis, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request a virtual appointment on our website. We would love to help you get on the path to less pain and greater life quality.