At the Orlando Center for Regenerative Medicine, we commonly use platelet rich plasma therapy for arthritis in the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle and foot. Dr. Jason Pirozzolo explains arthritis, and how platelet rich plasma therapy can be used for this common condition as a surgery and steroid alternative, in the video listed. Watch the video and read below to learn more.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a progressively debilitating condition that eventually affects nearly everyone in one way or another. Essentially, arthritis is the wearing away of joint cartilage over time that leads to pain, swelling, and loss of function.
Early Treatments for Arthritis
Arthritis can affect any joint, but it is most commonly associated with the shoulder, hand, wrist, and knee. When arthritis pain does become a problem, early treatments include corticosteroid injections and oral medication, along with activity modification and physical therapy.
Eventually, these conservative therapies become less effective over time, and many patients are presented with a surgical option of a joint replacement. Until recently, that was the treatment of course typically followed by millions of patients, but now we have an alternative. What has been thrust into the spotlight by world-class athletes and is now available to everyone is platelet rich plasma, or PRP therapy.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?
Platelet rich plasma is obtained from your own blood. The blood is placed in a specialized tube and then treated by a centrification process, using a proprietary filtration process, which separates and concentrates your own platelet rich plasma.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
Scientists have identified different growth factors that promote the regeneration of bone, cartilage and tendons. Growth factors found in your platelets include: platelet derived growth factor, insulin like growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet derived angiogenic growth factor, and transforming growth factor beta. These growth factors are activated upon injection of your platelet rich plasma.
Can PRP Therapy Work For Arthritis?
In March 2016 a systematic review of the literature was published and analyzed the outcome of patients with arthritis that were treated with platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. They concluded that there was a significant clinical improvement in those patients treated with PRP for up to 12 months post injection.
An ongoing study presented at the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting compared the efficacy of platelet rich plasma injections vs. corticosteroid injection(s) for pain relief, functional return and improved range of motion in patients with carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis. The study showed that after a 6-month follow-up, patients who received PRP showed a 90% decrease in pain from baseline. Patients who received corticosteroid injections showed an 8% increase in pain from baseline. Researchers found that compared to corticosteroid injections, PRP injections show merit for treatment of carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis.
To schedule a regenerative medicine consultation with Dr. George White, Dr. Jason Pirozzolo, Dr. Brian White, or Dr. Anup Patel, call (407) 841-0001. Our center is conveniently located in the same building as our Orlando Hand Surgery Associates Downtown Orlando office at 801 N. Orange Ave., Suite 530, Orlando, FL 32801.