Innovative treatment for arthritis
Tuesday 3 April 2018

Osteoarthritis the result of progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage and menisci of the joint. Articular cartilage deteriorates because of trauma and wear and tear. This leads to exposure of the bone surface. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and difficulty walking.

Treatment depends on the severity of the osteoarthritis. Conservative treatments include analgesics and corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation, and physiotherapy and prescribed exercise to improve function and mobility. The body reacts to illness and injury with a natural healing process. Platelet rich plasma injections (PRP injections) can be used in the treatment of many musculoskeletal injuries including that of tendons, muscles and joints. 

Platelet cells in the blood stream are the first to arrive on site. Packed with growth and healing factors, platelets initiate the repair process and attract the critical assistance of stem cells. Using this natural mechanism, PRP intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets.

To create PRP, a small sample of your blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample), and placed in a centrifuge. This device spins the blood at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then injected back into and around the point of injury, jumpstarting and significantly strengthening your natural healing ability.

The earlier the treatment, the better the outcome

PRP can be very effective in treating osteoarthritis, especially in the earlier stages. With age, the cartilage lining the joints can shrink and wear thin causing friction between the bones. Growths called bone spurs and inflammation can gradually enlarge the joint leading to the pain and dysfunction of arthritis. PRP can help reduce this inflammation and pain. It may also be able to stimulate cartilage regeneration, which could potentially inhibit the deteriorating effects of age and slow the progression of arthritis.

Safe, effective, lasting results

Although still in the early stages, patients treated with PRP so far have shown significant improvements in their pain and ability to function. Not yet covered by most insurances, PRP is an exceptionally safe procedure, performed in a sterile environment on an outpatient basis. Because your own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and very low risk of allergic reaction.

Consultant Orthopaedic Consultant, Wing Commander Pathak,specialises in the PRP injections at Fitzwilliam Hospital/Boston West Hospital. For more information please contact our Hospital Service Advisor on 01733 842304.

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