Like almost all medical treatments, there are potential advantages as well as potential drawbacks and uncertainties to using PRP injections to treat osteoarthritis.
Advantages of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma is autologous, meaning it comes from the patient’s body, so it is natural and the injections carry few risks.
Other treatments for mild to moderate osteoarthritis can be unreliable or vary from person to person, and some have side effects or drawbacks:
Physical therapy and/or weight loss can often improve but not always eliminate symptoms.
Cortisone injections are proven to reduce osteoarthritis pain, but repeated injections can weaken ligaments and tendons over time, and may have a detrimental effect on healthy cartilage.1,2
Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as aspirin and ibuprofen can reduce pain, but long-term use can aggravate stomach problems, blood pressure and heart problems.
Minor surgeries to treat osteoarthritis, such as arthroscopic debridement, have mixed results, and may be no better than placebo.3,4
Joint replacement surgeries are major surgeries that require long-term rehabilitation, and should be reserved for more debilitating cases of arthritis