PRP; a New Way of Treatment in Osteoarthritis
What exactly is the treatment?
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma): Blood has red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets in its structure. For over thirty years, we have known that when platelets are stimulated they secrete some healing proteins classed as growing factors. A well-prepared mixture that has these proteins in it heals and recovers the damaged tissues. Also, they make the silent stem cells active. That is why we can put together a brilliant mixture that boosts the recovery rate of the tissues in a body.
This technique that first was being used against aging and for cosmetic purposes but in the recent years doctors started to use it especially in order to help with most of the skeletal-muscular system diseases. It is a natural treatment because the mixture is prepared from the blood taken from the patient.
How do people obtain the needed components?
About 10-20 cc of blood is collected from the patient. Then that blood passes from a variety of tests and gathering of platelets are done. The platelets are then separated from the other structural pieces in the blood and PRP is readied up for the treatment. In millilitre of normal blood has about 150,000-400,000 platelets but in a millilitre of PRP has about 1,000,000 platelets
How does it affect?
Our bodies’ first reaction to wounds are calling platelets to heal the wounds. The healing/growing polarized platelets bring all the cells and tissues which are responsible for repairing with the stem cells to the damaged/wounded area. It also helps the blood to flow through the wounded area by forming new veins in the area. When the blood flow is back to normal then the diffusions and the attractions between cells, and blood increases which boosts the balanced growth tremendously which is an interesting side effect of PRP which is why it is also used in hair growth and bunch of other treatments. The things needed are almost fully provided when PRP is used. For osteoarthritis, it triggers tendons and the cartilage to improve the recovery of the wounded/non-functioning areas. It is a slow but permanent improvement process.
How is PRP applied?
The amount changes from 1-3 ml according to the area it is applied to. Generally, it is injected three times in a defined time span. It can be injected with Hyaluronic acid in small time periods. If the patient had a recent cortisol injection the effectiveness of the treatment goes down.
In which diseases can you use it for?
- Damaged Cartilage and Meniscus tears
- Chronic Plantar Fasciitis
- Tennis Elbow, Golf Elbow
- Shoulder Tendon Rheumatisms and Tears
- Soft Tissue Rheumatisms
When does the healing factors kick in?
PRP treatment is not a short but temporary process, that is why it might take some time to heal the scar tissue. However, there are some physical therapy exercises to make the process faster. The purpose for this treatment is to get rid of pain by healing the wounds and that consumes some time. The first visible effects can be seen in the first week after the treatment Is over and the effects’ visibility improves as time passes.
Does it have side effects?
The side effects are close to nothing. There is no infection risk since the liquid used is obtained from the patient and the probability of having allergic reactions is really low. The only problem is that when the injection is over there can be some aching and bumps nears the injection area. This effect passes by itself and does no harm to the patient. In that position, application of ice and the use of painkillers is okay.
The conclusion is generally a pleased patient which rose many people’s hopes even though the statistics and the data gathered is not much related to this natural treatment. It is a way to treat the skeletal-muscular system wounds without facing major risks. These conclusions can be a clue for the PRP treatment to be an alternative solution to osteoarthritis rather than the traditional ways with the increase in the elderly population.
Dr Nihat Taşçı
Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Expert
Private ROMMER Physiotherapy Center