What is knee arthritis?
Knee arthritis is a disease that affects bone lining called cartilage. Bone is rough like sand paper, and it is lined by cartilage which is smoother then ice. There is no cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments. In 2012, arthroscopic and related surgeons including orthopedic sports medicine specialists are trying to prevent the progression of arthritis by catching the disease early, and attempting to treat knee cartilage damage early, with a goal of prevention of knee advanced arthritis. While knee anti-aging therapy represents a dream, research advancements with regard to our understanding of biologic treatments (“biologics”), such as stem cells, orthokine, growth factors, and platelet rich plasma do show significant promise.
What is the cause of knee arthritis?
Arthritis is caused by various conditions, sometimes associated with complex disease, but the most common kind of knee arthritis is osteoarthritis which is similar to wear and tear. Osteoarthritis can be caused by trauma, overuse, obesity, or genetics, and usually the cause is a combination of these factors, while at other times, the cause remains unknown.
What is platelet rich plasma?
Platelet Rich plasma or PRP is a therapy where a patient’s own blood may be treated to quickly, cost-effectively, and aseptically remove blood cells. What is left behind is a liquid known as plasma which contains a patient’s own platelet’s, and platelets may be thought of as factories which produce growth factors which may have beneficial effects on healing, and symptoms of inflammation including pain, swelling, warmth, and redness.
How can platelet rich plasma help improve osteoarthritis?
Evidence-based medicine is pending, and current research maybe contradictory or controversial, but the purpose of platelet rich plasma research for patients with osteoarthritis is two-fold. One goal is to control symptoms such as pain as described above. The ultimate goal is to prevent progression of osteoarthritis, or even provide an arthritis cure. While an arthritis cure currently does not exist, the disease is prevalent in epidemic proportions, and so researchers are devoting enormous amounts of thought and energy to knee cartilage damage.One area of great promise could be PRP enhancement or PRP augmentation of existing, evidence-based, minimally invasive surgical treatments, including arthroscopic or related knee cartilage repair or restorative procedures in patients with cartilage pathology. In 2012, knee arthroscopy is not a known “cure” for knee osteoarthritis, but arthroscopy is well known to help patients with early cartilage degeneration known as chondromalacia, as well as associated lesions such as meniscal tears, inflamed joint lining (synovitis), loose bodies, or torn knee ligaments such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), or medial collateral ligament (MCL).