Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection for knee Osteoarthritis (OA)

– Platelet Rich Plasma therapy in knee Osteoarthritis

Autologous platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections have gained attention in the last 5 years as a prosperous treatment for various musculoskeletal disease such as Knee Osteoarthritis (OA) (1, 2).
PRP is defined as a sample of autologous blood with concentrations of platelets above physiological baseline obtained by a centrifugation process which separates the liquid and solid components of blood (3). In the last 5 years, PRP injections have been accepted as a safe and efficient method for musculoskeletal conditions specially because it has a potential to improve the soft tissue healing. PRP contains antibacterial protein and platelets which are able to produce the growth factors, Cytokine and Chemokines that can involve in the inflammation and healing process (4).

PRP in Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis (OA) is known as one of the most common pathological painful conditions in the elderly which impairs quality of life (5). Socioeconomic evaluations show OA treatment cost is a burden for both governments and individuals (6). Pain relief and improvement of joint function is the final goal of OA knee treatment which leads to quality of life improvement (7). Complications and risks cannot be ignored with surgical treatment options such as knee replacement, as a result, conservative treatment including analgesics medication, physical therapy, unloading bracing, and intra-articular injections are preferred to delay knee replacement surgery (8).

PRP injection in OA treatment has been investigated recently in terms of safety and efficacy (5-11). All mentioned studies demonstrated that PRP is an efficient procedure in terms of pain reduction and joint function in self report and VAS Score evaluation. In 2013, a systematic review (12) reported that PRP is effective in compare to the placebo. Another systematic review (7) showed that PRP in compared with Hyaluronic Acid and saline have more benefit in pain relief and functional improvement in patients with symptomatic knee OA at 1-year post injection. In 2015, a meta-analysis (13) reviewing the efficacy of PRP injections in knee OA revealed that although PRP is an effective method in pain reduction and joint function in knee OA, more research is needed to be able to recommend RPR as a routine treatment in knee OA treatment (13).

PRP injection in knee OA is relatively new treatment option, and it is safe in compare to surgical intervention, however, research is needed on efficacy and improvement of quality of life improvement of this method specially in Australia. Australian Medical Research is currently conducting a research project to evaluate the efficacy of PRP injection in knee OA.

Dr Yalda Mojaver, and Mr Tuscan Harris.
Australian Medical Research.
September 2018

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