Journal of the American Osteopathic Association Study Finds Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Shows Promise in Non-Surgical Healing
Patients’ Desire to Avoid Surgery Sparking Small, Early Studies of Controversial Therapy for Arthritis and Other Musculoskeletal Ailments.
An analysis in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) found that early studies of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for knee, elbow and tendon injuries produced better, long-lasting improvements than surgical or steroid treatments for some patients. PRP is considered a controversial therapy; and additional research studies to back up the claims are needed. Although PRP does appear to be effective in the treatment of some chronic tendon injuries, the medical community needs more scientific evidence before it can determine whether PRP therapy is truly effective in other conditions.
Even though the success of PRP therapy is still questionable, the risks associated with it are minimal: There may be increased pain at the injection site, but the incidence of other problems — infection, tissue damage, nerve injuries — appears to be no different from that associated with cortisone injections.
If you are considering treatment with PRP, be sure to check your eligibility with your health insurance carrier. Some (but not all) insurance plans, including workers’ compensation plans, provide partial reimbursement.
SOURCE: SOURCE American Osteopathic Association, www.osteopathic.org
CHICAGO, Jan. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An analysis in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) found that early studies of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for knee, elbow and tendon injuries produced better, long-lasting improvements than surgical or steroid treatments for some patients.
PRP is considered a controversial therapy, in part because only a few small clinical trials have been conducted. The study, conducted by researchers form the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Miami Miller School Of Medicine, analyzed those trials and found PRP, a form of regenerative medicine, reduced pain and improved function better than steroid treatment over longer periods of time. In some trials reviewed, patients showed sustained improvements at one and two years post-treatment.
While results varied, statistically significant improvements were observed in patients with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis as well as those suffering from other musculoskeletal disorders involving knees, elbows and tendons.
“Osteopathic medicine teaches us that the human organism possesses an innate ability to heal itself. These principles of regenerative medicine have led to several new applications of human-derived products for improving health. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is derived from the patient’s own blood, delivering growth factors directly to sites of injury and activating the reparative process,” said JAOA Editor in Chief, Robert Orenstein, DO, an infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic Arizona.
“By inciting and augmenting inflammation, PRP appears to enhance tissue repair resulting in progressive functional improvements. Large, well-controlled studies are needed to assess the full potential of PRP and similar biological products in providing pain and symptom relief to patients with musculoskeletal injury,” Dr. Orenstein added.
The study, conducted by researchers form the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Miami Miller School Of Medicine, noted that PRP has minimal clinical support, though interest is increasing as patients seek nonsurgical approaches to musculoskeletal injury and disease.
The treatment was most famously used in 2008 when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward competed in the Super Bowl despite sustaining a torn medical collateral ligament two weeks before the big game. Ward reportedly received a series of PRP injections to accelerate the healing process.
About The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association
SOURCE American Osteopathic Association, www.osteopathic.org
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