Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, August 3, 2017 —Western Reserve Hospital physician Dmitri Souza, MD, PhD was recently featured in a co-authored article in the May issue of ASRA News, a publication of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. The article entitled, Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis: How Long Do the Benefits Last? explores a new pain management option for osteoarthritis of the knee, a common condition for many that is first realized in middle age.
Knee osteoarthritis, or knee OA, is prevalent in 13 percent of women and 10 percent of men who are age 60 or older. With common treatment methods such as physical rehabilitation, manipulation therapy, pharmacotherapy and other injectable agents often producing unsatisfactory results, total knee joint replacement procedures to remedy ailments are often a next course of action. Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) injections for knee osteoarthritis is gaining ground as a less invasive, lower cost treatment measure to restore knee function while decreasing pain for longer durations.
“Other therapies, while viable options for some, don’t appear to produce the long-term, reparative results that PRP injections afford,” said co-author, Dr. Souza. “A PRP patient may see decreased pain, increased mobility and regenerative healing across 6-9 months or more instead of only a few weeks to a few months of managed pain derived from other injectable agents.”
The PRP procedure begins with a simple blood draw. A patient's blood is concentrated using a specialized centrifuge, which spins the blood twice to obtain the PRP. Using ultrasound guidance, a pain specialist injects the PRP into the area that is causing pain. The activated platelets in the blood then release growth factors that recruit and increase the proliferation of cells to repair and heal. PRP injections allows patients to use their own body chemistry as the healing process. Dr. Souza and Western Reserve Hospital’s Center for Pain Medicine use the PRP treatment as a minimally invasive procedure to help patients dealing with conditions such as knee OA. The outpatient treatment quickly manages pain at the source, eliminates multiple injections and can restore a better quality of life for a more sustained period.