Exploring New Treatments For Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage of the joints and abnormal growth development of the bones called osteophytes or bone spurs. This condition is most common when one gets older or may be caused by and old injury or stress to the joints.
There is no cure for this condition however pain can be managed by acetaminophen or NSAIDs such aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen and in some cases, narcotics. Some also use steroids shots to relieve their pain. The medications have long term side effects that is why doctor’s advice is recommended.
Some resorts to surgery to address this condition but this is not fit to everyone because as we age, our bones becomes more fragile. Experts are still studying further to treat this condition. Some of the following methods show significant results:
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
As the name of the treatment suggests, it contains platelet which is a blood component that attracts healing to an injured site. This treatment is done by using the patient’s own PRP to be injected directly to the joint. Though this treatment is commonly used by athletes there is no study that proves it to be effective. Studies shows significant clinical improvements and it is better than using corticosteroids.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells Treatment (MSCs) vs Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate
These two treatments have the same process. They both use cells from the body to stimulate healing on the injured area. By injecting the cells to the knee joint, this will stimulate new growth of cartilage and reduce the inflammation.The advantage of bone marrow is that it is easier to obtain than MSCs. However, both of the treatments needs more study before we can confidently say that it is safe and effective.
This is used not to treat the injury but it manages the pain that goes with it. Botulinum can ease muscles spasm and relieves pain but it won’t affect the knee structure.
Water-Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation
This is another procedure to address the pain that is associated with joint injury. It shuts down the nerves that cause pain by applying heat to it.
The treatments above are just suggested treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis. However, your condition should not be treated without proper assessment and consultation. It is important to submit yourself for check up and do necessary tests in order for you to have the treatment that fits you the best.
Platelets-Rich Plasma for Your Aching Elbow
Tennis Elbow or clinically known as “Lateral epicondylitis” is a condition that affects your elbow’s muscles and tendons. It causes pain to the area that is brought by strenuous use of the elbow.
Latest study shows that the use of Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has significant effect in treating Tennis elbow. Results suggest that using PRP is better than having corticosteriods shots. Corticosteriods are used to address the pain but it doesn’t heal the condition itself. Lateral epicondylitis (Tennis elbow) is an injury of the elbows wherein the area lacks blood supply thus delays the healing process. And so, the PRP treatment address that by injecting the patient’s own platelets directly to the site of injury in order for it to hasten the healing process. However, some studies shows that this treatment has insignificant result in dealing Achilles tendon injuries.
STOP THE PAIN AND PLAY AGAIN
Some researches conducted a study wherein they gathered patients who have Lateral epicondylitis(Tennis elbow) for more than 6 months and are experiencing pain that scales from 5-10. They separated them in 2 groups. One group received the corticosteriod treatment and the other PRP injection. Both were given direct repetitive technique wherein the treatment was injected in a repetitive manner through the skin and into the tendon.
Those patients who received the PRP treatment didn’t was not relieved by pain as fast as those who received Corticosteroids. However, after 26 weeks of treatment those PRP patients got a significant result by having an elbow that is functioning better and they are most likely to have lesser pain. The healing process continued after a year of PRP treatment.
64% of patients who recieved Platelet-rich plasma claimed to have less pain and 84% claimed to have an improvement in their elbows. In contrast, patients who received Cortiscosteroids have lesser percentage in improvement in pain (24%) and improvement in their elbow’s function (17%). Furthermore, among 49 patients of Corticosteroid-treated patients, 6 of them went back to receive PRP shots and only 1 continued to have corticosteroid treatment and 6 submitted themselves for surgery. And for those patients who have PRP treatment only 2 changed their treatment to corticosteroids.
Sports medicine centers claimed that PRP treated patients would have a higher success rate if they used ultrasound before the treatment to make sure that the damage is in the tendon. And they only use steroids to patients who had 2 weeks of excruciating pain unless ultrasound or MRI shows degeneration of tendon and no swelling.
Platelet-rich Plasma treatment have significant results in treating Tennis Elbow. However, further studies must be conducted to confirm this treatment until we can confidently say that it is efficient.
* Results of this treatment may vary from person to person.