PRP Knee Injections
Non-invasive knee and ankle pain solutions that work:
Regenerative Medicine and Interventional Orthopedics: explore all of your options before saying “yes” to surgery.
The doctors at Advanced Vein Center , our Surgeons focus on Regenerative Medicine and other related, minimally-invasive techniques. We know Interventional Therapy. It’s a blending of time-honored mainstream medicine and newer, cutting edge techniques which stimulate the body’s innate healing response.
Are you sick and tired of simply putting up with chronic knee pain? Thankfully, you may no longer have to. The rapidly expanding field of Regenerative Medicine now offers several innovative, minimally invasive, injection based therapies. These have the potential to aid the body in doing one of its most important jobs—healing chronically damaged tissue. This can often prevent or take the place of traditional invasive surgery.
Knee pain is nothing if not extremely common. It is estimated that about 33% of American adults over 65 currently have a chronic knee complaint. The presence of osteoarthritis or “wear and tear” arthritis, usually complicates the matter. This can be seen, in its most severe form, as a “bone on bone” knee joint.
Other advanced cases feature a torn meniscus. This is the large cartilage pad located directly behind the kneecap which is essential for normal function. Short of surgery, and now Regenerative Treatments, this type of gross physical damage is unlikely to mend. Today treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, AMPP® and nSTRIDE® Injections offer hope for both stubborn conditions. Read on for more details.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are derived from a patient’s own blood. They are prepared immediately prior to treatment using a small sample, usually only one or two vials. These are collected by standard vena-puncture, the same method used to draw blood for medical testing.
A laboratory centrifuge is then used to separate the whole blood out into its components. These include red cells, various white cells, and platelets. Platelets are extremely small, cell-like particles which are responsible for your blood’s ability to clot. The (literally) platelet-rich layer is then harvested from the vial, purified, and is ready for injection into damaged tissue.
Once injected, PRP triggers a healing and remodeling phase that will continue for several months. It is the ultimate goal of a Regenerative Medicine treatment like PRP to force the body to heal itself. PRP and related techniques must be used on the correct candidates. When used appropriately, however, they can deliver serious improvement even in treatment-resistant conditions such as arthritis of the knees.
From start to finish the prep time for a PRP treatment is about 20 minutes. The delivery of the injections themselves takes only minutes, even if many are required. Medical ultrasound may be used if your doctor feels that visual guidance is necessary. This is the same ultra-safe technology used to visualize babies in utero, and involves no harmful ionizing radiation.
Why Not Steriods?
Powerful steroid injections, usually Cortisone, are also problematic. These miracle drugs reduce inflammation within minutes and can greatly reduce symptoms and improve function. Doctors know that they often deliver fantastic short-term results, yet they’re not suitable for mid to long-term use. Repeated injections inhibit healing on the cellular level, and that’s just one of Cortisone’s well-documented, serious side effects. They’re incredibly useful, yet can ultimately make a foot or ankle condition worse.
Many doctors also use steroid injections or prescribe oral steroids to their patients too frequently. This practice is slowly changing, however, as the medical community becomes more aware of their potentially detrimental effects.
Both steroid medications and surgery will always have their place. They should never be first-line options, however, especially when effective non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical options exist. It is this type of treatment that doctors and researchers in the field of Regenerative Medicine develop and deliver.
What takes place while recovering?
Following the operation, your doctor might suggest that you:
- For the first three days, ice your knee for 20 minutes every two to three hours, and during that time, take Tylenol to ease pain.
- Avoid NSAIDs like ibuprofen since they may interfere with PRP’s effects.
- Rest well, and stay away from activities that cause pressure on your knee.
- To keep the weight off of your knee for a few days, you might need to use crutches or a walking frame.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations for follow-up appointments.