How is this condition treated with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)?
PRP, platelet rich plasma, is plasma that naturally occurs in blood. Human blood consists of 1% plasma and platelets, 6% white cells and 93% red cells. The red blood cells are removed from the blood so that it contains a high level of plasma and platelets only. Plasma not only helps the blood clot, but is has critical role in healing injuries. The platelet rich plasma releases growth factors that attract stem cells to the injured tissue, minimizes tissue healing time and increases tissue reparation.
When injected into the lumbar facet joints, platelet rich plasma heals the cartilage causing a reduction in the pain and improved functionality. It can also prevent further degeneration from occurring.
The treatment can be performed in the doctor’s office and takes about one hour. Blood is drawn from the patient. Plasma is then extracted from the blood and injected into the joints using x-rays for accuracy. Depending on the severity of the osteoarthritis, up to six injections may be required. Significant improvement may be seen after two injections.