The newest scientific evidence suggests there is a clinical benefit to the selective use of a regenerative treatment termed PRP.
PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP)
PRP is proven to be safe. PRP is most likely to benefit young patients (age < 50) with knee chondropathy and all patients with mild to moderate knee arthritis that have failed to respond to HA injections (gel) and arthroscopic surgery. Patients over the age of 50 are less likely to respond to PRP. The average clinical effect is for 9 months. In responders PRP will need to be repeated yearly. PRP is not applicable for patients with severe osteoarthritis (bone on bone xray). The indiscriminate use of PRP is not advocated.
Many patients are afflicted with knee chondropathy or mild to moderate knee arthritis. Now a regenerative medicine treatment option is available. Regenerative medicine refers to a treatment that stimulates healing using self repairing pathways that are stimulated, or triggered by the introduction of growth factors. PRP may act as a stimulator of healthy cells by releasing chemical signals that switch these cells “on”. This may stimulate cartilage tissue to repair itself. These signals regulate growth and development of cartilage cells including growth factors that are present in platelets termed PDGF, TGF-ß, and VEGF (to name a few). Alpha granules from PRP are a source of cytokines that stimulate cell migration, proliferation and maturation.
PRP has shown to be safe. PRP is chondrogenic, chemotactic to stem cells within the knee, stimulate proliferation of native stem cells, guide the maturation of stem cells into chondrogenic cells and slow the death of cartilage cells. The layman version is that in the knee joint, PRP may or may not do the following: stimulate the regeneration of articular cartilage cells and may or may not predict resident cartilage cells from degeneration. The most likely mechanism of action is the temporary modulation of knee joint equilibrium by maintaining physiology.
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