North Texas Musculoskeletal Medicine

Enhancing the body's innate ability to heal

Regenerative Orthopedics Osteopathic Manipulation

PRP Effectively Regenerates Damaged Cartilage in Osteoarthritis

PRP Effectively Regenerates Damaged Cartilage in Osteoarthritis

PRP Effectively Regenerates Damaged Cartilage in Osteoarthritis

The word “arthritis” means “joint inflammation.”  Inflammation is one of the body’s natural reactions to disease or injury, and includes swelling, pain, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is considered a degenerative disease.  It occurs when the cartilage covering the end of the bones gradually wears away. Without the protection of the cartilage, the bones begin to rub against each other and the resulting friction leads to pain and swelling.

Traditional treatment for arthritis has focused primarily on treating the inflammation and pain associated with this condition.  Although pain relievers can make you feel better, they do not change the course of the disease.  Inflammation that lasts for a long time or recurs, as in arthritis, can lead to tissue damage and, commonly, joint replacement.

Research organizations, including, are exploring ways to improve the efficiency of procedures shown to regenerate cartilage tissue damaged by arthritis.  This research has shown that Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections help to restore existing cartilage damage and prevent further degeneration, effectively bridging the gap between symptom relief and joint replacement surgery.  During the healing process of this procedure, the body releases stem cells that rebuild cartilage damaged through the inflammation of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis Study: “Missing Link” to Repairing Joint Cartilage, Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD 
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Evseenko is leading a study of stem cell researchers who tracked the early development of human joint cartilage.

Articular cartilage is a type of connective tissue that covers the surfaces of bones within synovial joints.  Articular cartilage injury and the lack of cartilage regeneration often lead to osteoarthritis.  Recent studies carried out by Dr. Evseenko and his lab and others have shown that stem/progenitor cells can partially repair damage cartilage…

PRP utilizes the platelet-derived growth factors contained in the patient’s own blood.  It is obtained by spinning a small amount of blood in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from red and white blood cells.  The concentrated platelets are then injected by way of ultrasound guidance into problem areas where the growth factors are released to stimulate the healing process.

Platelet-rich Plasma May Benefit Early Knee OA: Research suggests the therapy can improve joint pain and function.  03/01/2013 | By Linda Rath

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a therapy used to help heal surgical wounds and tendon injuries, may also relieve symptoms of early knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to a new study out of the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York. Researchers there say patients with knee OA reported significantly improved pain and function for 12 months after a single PRP injection. The findings, published online in Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, also suggest that PRP may slow joint damage if administered early in the course of the disease.

“The results are very exciting,” says Brian Halpern, MD, chief of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Service at HSS and lead author of the study. “This suggests that PRP may have the potential not only to relieve symptoms but also to delay progression of OA, although we don’t know if that will continue year after year.”

Developing technologies, such as PRP, merge naturally with a key tenet of osteopathic medicine, the body’s innate ability to heal itself.  By condensing platelets, the natural healing cells in the blood, PRP enhances this natural process to heal faster and better.

Medicine is evolving from an age when the body was treated as isolated parts to an approach that integrates all body parts as interactive, an age promoting treatment of the whole person.  Regenerative medicine utilizes what the body naturally does, making it faster and more effective.  Platelet Rich Plasma, PRP,  offers the patient new options, ones that bridge the gap between medication and surgery.