PRP therapy is a revolutionary treatment for joint pain, especially the pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. Board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Colin Poole, MD, AAOS, ABOS, at Poole Joint Replacement in Meridian, Idaho, offers this noninvasive, cutting-edge procedure to men and women who have pain in their knees as an alternative to joint replacement surgery. Call to learn more about how PRP therapy may help you delay the need to head to the operating room.
Although blood is mainly a liquid (called plasma), it also contains small solid components (red cells, white cells and platelets). The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors that are very important in the healing of injuries.
PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets, and thereby the concentration of growth factors, can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual.
To develop a PRP preparation, blood must first be drawn from the patient. The platelets are then separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased by a process called centrifugation. These platelets are then injected into the affected knee.
There are very minimal side effects, usually just some minor discomfort at the injection site. There are no restrictions after the injection. You may experience relief from joint pain for up to 1 year after this procedure.