Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
Arthritis and Joints
PRP therapy for arthritis treatment and joint pain can successfully manage these conditions. Clinicians in orthopaedic medicine have been studying the effects of PRP on arthritic joints and applying this technique for over 20 years.
It has extended to be used in the areas of cosmetic and plastic surgery, hair loss treatment and dentistry. PRR therapy has gained popularity because of the enhanced wound healing and tissue regenerating abilities it has. This regeneration extends to the cartilage, tendons and ligaments within our joints.
In 2014-15 the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a survey showing 2.1 million Australians, or 9% of the population, suffer from osteoarthritis. Debilitating symptoms associated with arthritis include joint pain and immobilisation. The nature of the disease means that unfortunately, every year someone suffering with osteoarthritis will have up to 6% cartilage degradation. This only worsens the condition over time and increases pain.
PRP provides people with an alternative measure to improve osteoarthritis. The aim of the treatment is to reduce pain within the joint and improve mobility of the joint. It is also theorised that PRP may slow down, stop or repair damaged cartilage.
Clinical data and scientific studies show that PRP is beneficial in wound healing and tissue regeneration. This is because the PRP serum that is extracted from your own blood contains tiny cell fragments called platelets. These platelets possess important biological contents, some of which are called ‘growth factors’, which are vital for tissue regeneration.
Growth factors released by platelets are listed below. They are responsible for enhancing wound healing and tissue regeneration, and therefore may relieve symptoms of arthritis.
- Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF): promotes new blood vessel formation and cellular division which leads to new skin formation
- Transforming Growth-Factor-Beta (TGF-b): promotes formation and growth of extracellular matter (substance that our cells are suspended in, vital to their livelihood
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF): promotes new blood vessel growth
- Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF): promotes cell growth and maturation, new blood vessel and collagen formation
- Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (FGF-2): promotes specific cell and blood vessel growth
- Insulin Like Growth Factor – (IGF): a vital regulator of normal physiology for almost every cell found in our bodies
Considering the many applications PRP therapy has, Dr Candler offers these treatments not only for arthritis, but for skin rejuvenation and hair growth as well. Constant advancements in research and technology demonstrate that PRP is beneficial in wound healing and tissue regeneration. It is not considered to replace traditional methods of arthritis treatment, but it shows promising results as another treatment option that may be used in place or in conjunction with other treatments.
For more information on PRP therapy and arthritis, please click here.
A smaller study carried out MRIs before treatment and 1 year after PRP treatment which showed cartilage degradation had not progressed in most cases. This may suggest a significant improvement. It is still not clearly understood the exact mechanisms by which PRP assists with osteoarthritis. Clinicians performing these treatments suggest that the PRP serum may inhibit inflammation, slow down the continuation of osteoarthritis; stimulate new cartilage growth, increase natural fluid within the joint that allows mobilisation and reducing friction that then relieves pain. Until further studies are carried out it may remain unclear as to exactly how PRP is beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
There are many variables that must be taken into account when having PRP treatments. There are a lot of disposables associated with this treatment, and this must be taken into consideration. Price also varies on the size and location of the treatment area. All pricing queries will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.