When patients face a joint injury, arthritis, or the possibility of surgery, they frequently look for an alternative. PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is an effective non-surgical option for joint and spine repair. Plus, it has an enormous potential to reverse the physiology of osteoarthritis and increase cartilage volume.
Plasma is the fluid portion of blood that contains cellular components such as red cells, white blood cells, and platelets. With PRP, your own blood is used. When concentrated through simple centrifuging, your blood plasma becomes “rich” in healing factors, thus the name Platelet Rich Plasma. These potent growth factors effectively repair tissue and regenerate the injury site.
In fact, at OrthoRegen®, we concentrate the platelets 7-10 times what is typically found in the blood. Other systems concentrate them, but to a lesser extent.
Joint repair using PRP is an exciting and cutting-edge therapy for the stimulation of tissue repair and the regeneration of weakened, torn, or damaged ligaments, tendons, and even cartilage.
PRP is an excellent treatment option for orthopedic and sports medicine. But do studies back up its use? In this article, we’ll quote quite a bit of research demonstrating PRP’s effectiveness for joint repair.
Research reveals that PRP has low risk. The Journal of Knee Surgery says, “PRP as a treatment option for cartilage damage or injury is attractive given the low rate of adverse events observed in numerous clinical studies(1).
Although PRP has recently gained quite a bit of popularity, it has been around for decades. In 2012, the medical journal Arthritis Research and Therapy said, “Orthobiologics offer exciting new possibilities to promote and accelerate bone and soft tissue healing. PRP is an orthobiologic that has recently gained popularity as an adjuvant treatment for musculoskeletal injuries. . . The relative ease of preparation, applicability in the clinical setting, favorable safety profile, and possible beneficial outcome make PRP a promising therapeutic approach for regenerative treatments.”(2)
With PRP, the platelets are concentrated to provide an extensive reservoir of growth factors, resulting in a significant boost to the body’s normal healing process. Research shows that “PRP provides an abundance of growth factors in addition to other components that aid in joint health.” Plus, “autologous PRP therapy has demonstrated an excellent safety profile and has been shown effective for symptomatic osteoarthritis relief in numerous clinical studies.” (3)
PRP brings significant potential to decrease painful joints, enhance cartilage repair, and restore other joint tissues to a healthy state. Doctors describe the repair of PRP by saying, “Platelet-rich plasma is a safe, autologous, easy to prepare and to use a relatively low-cost procedure to deliver growth factors for cartilage healing and regeneration.” (4)
Researchers in the Journal of Pain Research reviewing the benefits of PRP for knee arthritis found that PRP decreased pain and had a significant effect on radiologic characteristics by increasing cartilage volume. (5)
The Physician and Sports Medicine journal says, “Given its biocompatibility and healing properties, percutaneous injections of PRP are used in athletes to treat tendon and muscle injuries. Studies of varying levels of evidence have demonstrated the safety and beneficial effects of PRP in these applications…” (6)
Is PRP better than hyaluronic acid injections? Researchers in the medical journal Medicine found the following after studying 1,350 patients with knee arthritis: “Compared with HA, PRP offers obvious advantages in the conservative treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Treatment with PRP can reduce long-term pain and improve knee joint function with no additional risks. Therefore, PRP can be widely used for the conservative treatment of knee osteoarthritis.” (7)
How does PRP stand up when compared to cortisone injections? Researchers in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery concluded, “PRP demonstrated a statistically significant improvement over CS in a 1-year follow-up.” (8)
PRP is very effective at repairing musculoskeletal tissue conditions such as moderate to severe tendon and ligament problems as well as meniscus and labrum tears. It also works well for carpel tunnel, Achilles tendon, tennis elbow, and more. Due to the vast amount of growth factors in platelets, PRP has enormous potential for repair in many joint and spine conditions.
PRP is promising in sports medicine, including the treatment of tendon injuries, pain reduction, and improved function for articular injuries to the ankle, knee, and hip. Plus, it is advocated for as a safe procedure with negligible adverse effects. PRP is readily available and has a minimal risk of reactivity compared to other compounds due to PRP injections’ autologous (from your own body) nature.
Patients will receive the maximum benefit of PRP when offered as part of a comprehensive program of joint healing.
At OrthoRegen®, we offer PRP as part of a comprehensive Regenerative Orthopedics program that treats all of the affected soft tissue of the joint, including the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Dextrose Prolotherapy is used along with PRP to achieve comprehensive treatment of the joint is the solution being used. Combining PRP with Prolotherapy allows for the most significant benefit for the repair of the whole joint.
Peter A. Fields, MD, DC, is both a medical doctor and chiropractor and the founder of OrthoRegen®. He has successfully treated patients with Regenerative Orthopedics for many years and is a leading expert in using PRP, Prolotherapy, and Stem Cells to resolve painful joint and spine conditions and sports injuries. Dr. Fields is passionate about helping his clients eliminate pain for optimal long-term results with the use of PRP and other regenerative treatments.
1 Mascarenhas, Randy, et al. “Role of platelet-rich plasma in articular cartilage injury and disease.” The journal of knee surgery 28.01 (2015): 003-010.
2 Dhillon RS, Schwarz EM, Maloney MD. Platelet-rich plasma therapy – future or trend? Arthritis Res Ther. 2012 Aug 8;14(4):219.
3 Parrish, William Richard, and Breana Roides. “Platelet-rich plasma in osteoarthritis: more than a growth factor therapy.” Musculoskeletal Regeneration 3 (2017).
4 Civinini, R., Nistri, L., Martini, C., Redl, B., Ristori, G., & Innocenti, M. Growth factors in the treatment of early osteoarthritis. Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism, 10(1), 26-29. https://doi.org/10.11138/ccmbm/2013.10.1.026
5 Raeissadat, Seyed Ahmad, et al. “MRI changes after platelet-rich plasma injection in knee osteoarthritis (randomized clinical trial).” Journal of Pain Research (2020): 65-73.
6 Mei-Dan, Omer, et al. “Autologous platelet-rich plasma: a revolution in soft tissue sports injury management?” The Physician and Sports Medicine. 38.4 (2010): 127-135.
7 Chen, Z., Wang, C., You, D., Zhao, S., Zhu, Z., & Xu, M. (2020). Platelet-rich plasma versus hyaluronic acid in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: A meta-analysis. Medicine, 99(11). https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000019388
8 Elksniņš-Finogejevs, A., Vidal, L. & Peredistijs, A. Intra-articular platelet-rich plasma vs corticosteroids in the treatment of moderate knee osteoarthritis: a single-center prospective randomized controlled study with a 1-year follow up. J Orthop Surg Res 15, 257 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13018-020-01753-z