Platelet-rich plasma treatment is a revolutionary new technique for healing painful knee injuries. In fact, athletes like Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods are rumored to have undergone PRP treatments for various purposes. The procedure involves injecting platelet-rich plasma in the knee for managing pain and improving the condition. Proponents of the therapy state that it can help with debilitating conditions, including knee pain because of osteoarthritis.
Southern California Hip Institute (SCHI), led by diligent board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan, provides orthopedic surgery as well as non-surgical treatments to patients in Los Angeles, Century City, Beverly Hills, CA, and surrounding locations.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelets are cell fragments present in the blood. These are best known for their function of clotting blood in case of an injury. A variety of proteins called growth factors are present in the plasma. PRP therapy is built on the premise that growth factors play a major role in healing. The process involves the use of a person’s own blood. Plasma is separated from the blood cells, which is then used to treat:
- Pain and instability in joints
- Injuries in the knee, shoulder, elbow, and other joints
- Chronic pain conditions
Does PRP Knee Treatment Really Work?
Platelet rich plasma injections are relatively new. But there have been several studies showing its efficacy in treating knee pain and other conditions. The effects of platelet rich plasm injections were evaluated in a 2009 study that involved 100 people.
The participants had degenerative cartilage lesions on their knees which were significantly improved within 6 months of the treatment. Another study in 2013 involving 78 patients with osteoarthritis in both knees found that PRP injections could provide significant reduction in pain.
PRP treatment for knee pain is an experimental therapy and you should ask your doctor whether you are an ideal candidate or not. There is limited evidence regarding their safety and effectiveness. Your insurance policy may not cover the procedure as well.
Your doctor will draw a small amount of blood and place it in a centrifuge. This is to separate the plasma components. Different concentration of suspension may be obtained depending on variations in procedure. The doctor will numb your knee next and inject the PRP. This will be within the joint space in the knee. They may guide the injection using ultrasound.
You should be able to go home after a brief resting period. Stiffness and pain are common following the injection and you will require someone to drive you home.
Your doctor will advise the following after the procedure:
- Icing the knees for 20 minutes every 2 – 3 hours
- Manage discomfort using Tylenol
- Avoid ibuprofen and other NSAIDs
- Avoid activities that put weight on the knee
- Get plenty of rest
You may require a walking frame or crutches for a few days following the procedure to keep weight off the knee. Make sure you follow up with your physician. Proven board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan receives patients from Los Angeles, Century City, Beverly Hills, CA, and nearby areas for orthopedic surgery as well as non-surgical treatments.
Contact the Southern California Hip Institute
Dr. Tigran Garabekyan is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip preservation. To learn more about Southern California Hip Institute or to schedule a consultation, click here to contact us or call:
Century City / Los Angeles: 310.595.1030
Serving patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Century City, West Hollywood, North Hollywood Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Burbank, Glendale and other neighboring cities in the greater Los Angeles, California area.
Also visit http://www.drgorthopedics.com/