If you are among the many millions of active people who suffer from bothersome knee pain, there is a medical approach that has the potential to bring long-lasting relief in a short period of time. It’s called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. PRP is a regenerative, effective way to get rid of the pain without costly, complicated surgeries.
Our team of providers specializes in PRP treatment for the knee. We work to get your knee back to its optimal level of function and eliminate the pain. Of course, the ultimate goal is to help you return to the active lifestyle you had before knee pain got in the way.
How PRP Relieves Knee Pain and Decreases Recovery Time
Human blood has some rather amazing, built-in healing properties. Tiny structures in the blood, alongside red and white cells, are platelets. It is these platelets that cause your blood to clot when your skin is cut. They do something much more important: platelets have the ability to release a powerful group of growth factors after an injury. Damaged tissue and injured cells are thus able to restore themselves to their full capacity.
Our team of specialists uses PRP to isolate all the beneficial capabilities of your blood’s platelets. By removing and separating blood plasma that contains huge concentrations of platelets, PRP therapy is able to bring about rapid healing, reduce localized inflammation, and restore functional ability to the knee. The key mechanism of PRP is injecting your own blood’s platelets into the injured areas around your knee.
Diagnosing Your Root Cause of Pain
Knee pain can be tricky and is sometimes a challenge to diagnose. That’s because there are many different symptoms and underlying causes. In addition to generalized pain in the knee and its surrounding areas, many active and athletic people have symptoms that include:
- Instability of the knee
- Swelling in the area
- Joint stiffness in the entire knee
- Clicks and popping sounds when attempting to move the knee
- The inability to move the knee or straighten it
- Generalized redness of the skin in the knee and surrounding area
With so many different symptoms, what’s the best way to diagnose the true cause of knee pain? Our specialists get to the root cause by performing thorough physical exams, finding out about lifestyle habits that could contribute to pain, and assessing biomechanical aspects of the knee and a patient’s entire body. Exams also include checking for specific levels of pain, range of motion, joint stability, swelling, and any functional impediments.
There are literally dozens of injuries and specific conditions that can lead to serious knee pain in active individuals. A very short list includes some of the more common causes of knee pain, like:
- A torn meniscus
- Baker’s cyst
- Chronic or acute pain in the patella
- An MCL sprain or an injury to the ACL
- Diseased cartilage
- Arthritis of the joint
- Kneecap dislocation
- Syndrome of the ITB (iliotibial band)
After the examination, our team will make doubly sure of their assessment by performing one or more imaging tests. Often, imaging includes ultrasound procedures applied directly to your knee to produce a “live image” that reveals joint swelling and a wide range of information about the soft tissues surrounding the knee. In some cases, especially when a serious injury is discovered, we’ll order an MRI to confirm our diagnosis.
What Knee Injuries & Conditions Can PRP Treat
PRP offers relief for a wide variety of injuries and conditions, not just to the knee but to numerous areas of the body. However, for those whose specific complaints involve the knee, some of the more common conditions that PRP can effectively work for include muscle injuries, common bursitis, multiple types of osteoarthritis, muscle tears, tendinosis, tendinitis, tears of the tendons, and more.
A PRP Case Study of the Knee
One of our recent clients was a man in his mid-50s who was an active, in-shape athlete. He regularly competed in sporting events at the senior level, including various track and field meet. When he came to our clinic, he noted intense knee pain that he believed was mostly a result of arthritis.
He had already tried to get relief with cortisone injections from his regular doctor, as well as with anti-inflammatory drugs and even a round of arthroscopic surgery. After all that, his pain continued to bother him during light jogging sessions and sometimes afterward. He visited our clinic to get to the root cause of his pain and hopefully eliminate it once and for all with PRP therapy, which he had read about on a health website.
Our team went into action by performing a complete physical exam as well as an ultrasound of the musculoskeletal areas where he was experiencing pain. We uncovered several abnormalities in the knee area. In addition to his existing arthritis, these abnormalities were the source of much of the pain he had during his daily jogs.
We perform a short series of PRP injections to several areas around the patient’s knee, specifically to the patellar tendon, knee joint, medial meniscus, and pes anserine (knee tendon) bursa.
Within a week of the PRP injections, the patient was completely pain-free and had a full range of motion in both knees and both ankles. In addition, he was able to jog daily with no pain at all. A follow-up visit several months later allowed our team to help the patient deal with a tear he had in his rotator cuff. In a short amount of time, the tear was fully healed and he no longer experienced any pain, arthritis-related or otherwise, in or around his rotator cuff.
Is PRP the Right Choice for You?
It’s clear that PRP is one of the most promising new treatments for people who suffer from knee pain. This relatively new modality has already delivered positive results to thousands all over the world. When you visit our office for a consultation, we will thoroughly review your prior symptoms and entire medical history. Our knee specialists will then help you decide whether PRP is the best way to bring long-term relief for your particular condition.
For more information, simply fill out the brief form below. As always, feel free to contact us by phone or email with any questions you have about how PRP might be a workable solution for you. One of our licensed professionals will be happy to assist you.