More Evidence for Platelet Rich Plasma Use in Knee Osteoarthritis

 Knee Osteoarthritis Knee Osteoarthritis

Regenerative medical researchers in Barcelona, Spain are investigating new treatments, such as PRP, for osteoarthritis (OA) that address the underlying disease pathology rather than simply treat symptoms. The goal is to improve quality of life and physical function in persons with osteoarthritis. There currently is no curative approach for the millions of people with OA. Treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is commonly prescribed but many people, especially the elderly, have a high risk of side effects with NSAIDs.

Recently autologous plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF), commonly called PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma in the US, rich in proteins, has been considered a promising regenerative approach to stimulate chondrocytes to produce more cartilage (Cartilage is destroyed in OA). PRGF has a high concentration of growth factors. These factors act specifically on the tissue to repair and heal and have been shown to stimulate (more…)

Platelet Rich Plasma Improves Outcomes in Knee Arthritis

Diagram showing a healthy joint and joint with knee osteoarthritisA study found in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine followed 22 patients with early stage knee osteoarthritis to examine the effect of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) on the patients’ pain and function. Patients’ ages were 30 to 70 years with an average age of 54 years, and all of them had experienced knee pain for about 14 months prior to the study. Early stage knee osteoarthritis in each patient was confirmed at the beginning of the study by MRI.

Each of the patients had twenty ml (about 4 teaspoons) of blood drawn and this blood was then spun down to a solution of 6 mls of concentrated platelets (a little more than 1 teaspoon). This concentrated PRP solution was injected into patients’ arthritic knee joints. All patients received one injection. (more…)

Corticosteroid Injections Damage Cartilage in Rabbit Models

Corticosteroid Injections Damage Cartilage

Corticosteroid Injections Damage Cartilage
Corticosteroid Injections Damage Cartilage

Clinicians began to treat a variety of joint conditions with corticosteroid injections around 1950. Since clinical improvement was noted, physicians began to use the injections more frequently. Scientists at the University of Montreal were prompted to study effects of steroid injections on cartilage because of reports that a significant number of patients experienced accelerated the joint damage. Researchers chose the rabbit model to study because the rabbit knee is similar to the human knee and they could be microscopically examined for tissue changes.

The researchers injected 25 mg of hydrocortisone over 2 to 12 weeks into rabbit knees and studied the effect on three major components of the joint: proteoglycans (joint proteins that provide structure and lubrication), collagen (the main fiber in cartilage, provides strength and shock absorption) and chondrocytes (The main cells found in cartilage – chondrocytes produce collagen and proteoglycans). As a control, one group of rabbits received weekly saline injections for 12 weeks. (more…)