Knee pain is a very common medical complaint for both women and men, and like other joint issues, it’s a complaint that tends to become even more common as we get older. Pain and stiffness are also common among athletes and other people who engage in physical activity that depends heavily on their knees.
There was a time when chronic knee pain meant you had two options: live with it or undergo knee replacement surgery. Happily, today many other options can relieve painful symptoms and improve the way your knees function.
At Next Step Orthopedics, Dominique Nickson, MD, and his team offer PRP therapy to patients with many types of knee problems, including osteoarthritis, one of the most prevalent causes of pain. If you have pain in your knees, here’s how PRP could help.
The basics of PRP
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, a blood product that contains higher-than-normal concentrations of platelets. Platelets are one of the primary components of blood, playing a significant role in tissue healing. Plasma is the liquid part of blood.
During PRP therapy, PRP is “made” from a sample of your own blood, eliminating risks associated with a rejection or allergic reaction. When PRP is injected into an injury site, like a damaged knee joint, tiny proteins called growth factors trigger natural healing responses to restore damaged joint tissue.
PRP is routinely used in combination with other treatments to avoid or delay more extensive treatments, like joint replacement surgery. It can also be used to prevent additional joint damage and spur healing after surgical procedures.
PRP and your knees
PRP is primarily used to treat symptoms of knee arthritis or a condition called osteochondral defect. Both of these issues involve damage to the cartilage layer of the joint.
Healthy cartilage prevents friction and inflammation inside the joint. But if the cartilage is damaged by wear and tear or injury, you can experience pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion in the joint.
PRP therapy is used to stimulate the growth and development of new, healthy cartilage to replace the cartilage that’s been damaged. Therapy is performed right in our office, from taking the blood sample through the PRP injection process.
After your injections, you’ll need to avoid strenuous activities for about two weeks to allow the PRP to “go to work.” Other activities can be resumed within a few days in most cases.
Find out if PRP is right for your knees
PRP can be a safe, effective, nonsurgical option for many people with chronic knee pain that interferes with normal activities. Dr. Nickson offers other treatments for knee pain, which means you can feel confident your treatment plan will be based specifically on your unique needs.