PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma injections have once again been shown to be effective for minimizing the pain associated with arthritis of the knee.
PRP for Knee Arthritis
PRP, or platelet rich plasma treatments involve the injection of your own blood, concentrated platelets and other healing growth factors into your knee. PRP will then aid your body in resolving the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. PRP Injection have been shown to slow the progression or worsening of osteoarthritis.
Injections of PRP for knee arthritis is an office based procedure where a small amount of blood is collected from you — the sample is prepared in a special apparatus placed, into a centrifuge and then injected back into the site to be treated.
In prior years PRP was investigated for the treatment of tendon related disorders such as tennis elbow. PRP has recently received a lot more attention as a treatment to minimize or alleviate the pain associated with arthritis of the knee.
Other common injections for knee osteoarthritis include cortisone and Hyaluronic Acid (Synvisc, Hyalgan, Orthovisc, etc). This scientific paper shows that patients who received PRP injections for osteoarthritis of the knee responded better than their counterparts who received the Hyaluronic Acid injections alone.
The average recovery time from a PRP injection for arthritis varies… most patients begin to feel better in two to four weeks. Sometimes a second injection is necessary if partial relief was obtained from the first injection.
Evidence for PRP effectiveness for arthritis
In a recent 2013 study published in the The American Journal of Sports Medicine it was shown that PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma was effective in alleviating or improving the pain from arthritis of the knee. In this study, two different doses of PRP were given to patients and then compared to a saline injection (placebo). One group received a single injection of PRP, another group received two PRP injections, and the third group a single injection of saline or sterile salt water.
Statistically significant improvements in pain and function were noted in the PRP groups within 2-3 weeks and lasted 6 months. The saline treated group noted worsening of symptoms. The group that received one PRP injection for arthritis showed no difference than the group that received two PRP injections for knee arthritis.
Are you suffering from arthritis of the knee? Have you exhausted other alternative treatments for arthritis of the knee?
Be sure to shop around. Most insurance plans do not cover PRP injections and my own research in my area revealed that physicians charge anywhere from $1000 to $5000 for a PRP injection.
Contact us… we would be pleased to review the alternatives available to minimize your discomfort.
Hi Dr. Luks,
I wanted to clarify the results of the study. After 6 months did pain return for patients? It doesn’t seem very sustainable of a treatment if every 6 months you have to get another injection and it can get quite pricey I assume if the price per injection ranges for $1K – $5K. On the high end that could be almost $10K/year!
Thank you for your insights,
Howard J. Luks, MD says
Most offices only charge a few hundred dollars for an injection. Go elsewhere if they are charging more. Typically, relief is noted for 8-12 months
After getting a PRP treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis, how soon can you return to activities such as swimming and cycling? Then how soon to start doing impact exercises like light jogging.
Howard J. Luks, MD says
NO clear cut answer Jon … non-impact activities can resume when you are comfortable. Impact activities may need to wait 5-6 weeks… I would ask your doc.