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Can PRP Therapy Help Slow the Progression of Degenerative Knee Arthritis?

Can PRP Therapy Help Slow the Progression of Degenerative Knee Arthritis?

In medical terms, arthritis means joint inflammation. But for the more than 58 million people in the United States with arthritis, their condition is more than a symptom; it’s a progressive, degenerative disease that affects mobility and quality of life.

At Orthopedic & Wellness in Frederick, Waldorf, and Germantown, Maryland, our orthopedic and pain management physicians — Dr. Ojedapo Ojeyemi and Dr. Matthew Roh — understand the toll of degenerative arthritis, especially if it affects weight-bearing joints like the knee. 

For degenerative knee arthritis, we’re always looking for innovative therapies that can slow down the progression of the disease, like platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Because May is Arthritis Awareness Month, we’re using this post to describe PRP therapy and how it might help your arthritis-related knee pain

What is PRP?

Platelets are the tiny cells in your blood best known for forming blood clots. Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a blood product and medical treatment that has a high concentration of platelets. 

When you have an injury that damages a blood vessel, platelets immediately rush to the scene and band together to stop the bleeding. At the site of the injury, the platelets release cytokines and growth factors that repair the damage. 

PRP therapy harnesses the healing powers of your platelets. For therapy, we inject the platelet-rich solution directly into the damaged tissue, supporting or stimulating your body’s repair process. We use PRP to treat many orthopedic pain conditions and injuries, including degenerative knee arthritis.

About degenerative knee arthritis

Also called osteoarthritis of the knee, degenerative knee arthritis is a common cause of knee pain and disability. It occurs from the gradual wearing away of the cartilage that separates the bones in the knee. Without the cartilage, the bones rub together, causing inflammation, pain, and swelling. 

Currently, there’s no cure for degenerative knee arthritis, and treatment centers around slowing the progression of the disease. This usually includes lifestyle changes like exercise, weight loss, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

When medical interventions no longer ease the pain and you have significant degenerative changes, you may need knee replacement surgery. But PRP therapy may help delay the need for surgery. 

PRP for knee arthritis

Research suggests that PRP therapy may slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis and improve overall quality of life. Scientists theorize that PRP therapy addresses degenerative knee arthritis by reducing inflammation and stimulating growth of new cartilage. It works best in people with mild to moderate degenerative changes.

PRP therapy is one of the many pain management options we offer for our patients with osteoarthritis in the knee. No single treatment works for everyone, but our team at Orthopedic & Wellness works hard to personalize care to help patients get the best outcomes. 

Is your knee arthritis affecting your daily life? Do you want to learn more about PRP therapy and how it might help you? Call our office or book an appointment online to consult with our specialists today.

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