PRP For your Knee

  • Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic progressive disease involving the joint surfaces of the knee.

  • The goal of OA treatments is to reduce pain and improve function and mobility and hopefully slow the progression of the disease.

  • Numerous published studies suggest that intra-articular (within the joint) PRP injections can be an effective complement to conventional management strategies for knee OA.

  • These studies have shown that injections of autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP) are considered to be a good option for patients with mild to moderate knee OA, and also for patients with more severe OA who are not yet suitable for joint replacement surgery.

 

The PRP procedure is based on the intra-articular delivery of a component of the patient’s own blood – plasma that has a high concentration of platelets.  When the platelets are injected within the joint they release an abundance of growth factors and proteins which are known to initiate and assist the body’s natural tissue repairing mechanisms. 

 

PRP therapy for knee OA has been assessed by numerous high quality clinical trials. These studies have proven that intra-articular PRP knee injections for symptomatic early stages of OA are a valid treatment option. Overall, the patients in the trials gained a significant reduction in pain and improvement in function after 6 and 12 months. A lesser number of clinical trials have studied the longer term benefits of PRP, and have shown that the beneficial effects of PRP can be sustained at 18 months after the first PRP injection by annual repetition of the treatment. It is important that patients understand that PRP is not a quick-fix treatment to solve all their osteoarthritis symptoms and PRP achieves best outcomes when used in combination with weight loss, structured exercise and healthy lifestyle.

 

What's involved?

  • Patients are referred or self refer to our Clinic. 

  • Patients are assessed and recent xrays (or reports) are assessed.

  • Patients fill in a form to help us define their baseline function and symptoms (Western Ontario and McMasters University Osteoarthritis Severity Index (WOMAC)).

  • The procedure is explained to the patient and consent is obtained. 

  • Our practice protocol is that patients would be recommended to have 3 injections separated by an interval of 4 weeks. 

  • Our patient outcomes are in line with the published data, where the majority of patients gain good to very good benefit at 6 months compared to the pre PRP treatment pain and function scores -when the cause of the patient’s knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. 

  • For patients who gain a good response from the initial PRP injections, we usually recommend an annual ‘top-up’ treatment to prolong the improvements in function and reduced pain.