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Do PRP Injections For Arthritis Actually Work?

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In this video, Dr. Paul Zalzal and Dr. Brad Weening, discuss platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. They explain what PRP is, what are the indications for use, and the evidence that exists surrounding PRP.

Video highlights:

What is PRP?

You have a venous blood sample taken typically in your doctor’s office, then that blood is taken and put in a test tube and it’s put in a centrifuge. The heavy stuff goes to the bottom, and the light stuff goes to the top. The platelet-rich plasma is the stuff that you’re going to take and re-inject into the area of concern. So your blood is composed of plasma, which is the carrier for a bunch of different things: red cells, white cells, platelets, multiple growth factors. So they’re separating out the platelet-rich part with the idea that that is going to help heal or cure certain medical conditions.

What Medical Conditions is PRP Used For?

According to these doctors, they see it mostly for things like knee arthritis, ligamentous injuries, inflammation, tendinitis, torn meniscus acutely, and even in some ACL reconstructions.

Is there Any Evidence that PRP Works and is Safe?

The doctor duo feel that it is safe because it’s basically not a foreign material being placed into your body. It’s left your body for a little while and been processed minimally, and then injected back into your body.

So there is always the risk of infection yeah whenever you have an injection. In this case, stuff has been taken out and processed and there’s a chance that it becomes contaminated with bacteria and gets injected back and you get an infection. This is extremely rare and unlikely to happen.

There is no definitive study on the use of PRP yet, but the doctors feel that there is currently enough evidence to warrant more research to be done. They also feel that it’s also reasonable to use it clinically right now.

PRP Does Not Change Your Arthritis

The doctors say that it is important to recognize that PRP does not change your arthritis. You don’t end up with less arthritis. This is all about symptom control. So if you’re someone that needs a knee replacement, getting PRP is not going to prevent you from needing a knee replacement. It’s going to make you more comfortable while you wait. It is a symptom manager.

Please note: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about stem cell therapy/ PRP, please talk to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional.

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