Patients are often looking for options to avoid a knee replacement surgery. While surgery is recommended only when other treatment options have failed, some patients can still benefit from knee injections.
One such knee injection treatment option is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Knee Injections
Platelets are one of the first natural repair agents to reach an injury. They begin by sealing the injury with a clot. During the clot formation, they release proteins, including growth factors for repair and “signaling” factors that bring in the patient’s own stem cells to aid in the repair process.
During the PRP therapy, the patient’s own blood is obtained from a peripheral arm vein. It is then centrifuged to separate the various blood components. Red blood cells are removed. That leaves a concentration of platelets in the remaining plasma. This is why the term platelet-rich plasma, or PRP is used for this treatment.
The PRP is then administered, in the same manner as other knee injections, after a local anesthetic has been injected.
While experienced surgeons can accurately administer PRP knee injections, you can ask for ultrasound guided injections. This non-invasive technique allows the surgeon to precisely visualize the injection needle within the knee joint. Sometimes, your surgeon may also recommend hyaluronic acid injections to aid lubrication in the knee joint and allow smoother movement. Consult your orthopedic surgeon whether you are a good candidate for PRP injections for knee pain.