PRP Knee Injection Overview
The knee joint is placed under an extreme amount of stress each day during normal tasks, work movements and athletic activities. Because of the knee’s constant stress load, it is one of the most commonly injured joints and a top reason individuals living in the Denver, Vail and Aspen, Colorado area visit a knee specialist. Dr. Matthew Provencher specializes in various non-surgical knee treatments, including PRP knee injections. This biologic treatment is also known as autologous blood injection in the knee, and is gaining popularity as an innovative treatment option for chronic ligament and tendon injuries, acute muscle injuries and osteoarthritis.
What are Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections?
Four main components make up human blood and include platelets, plasma, white blood cells and red blood cells. Clinical research has proven that platelets gravitate towards an injured area in the body to help accelerate the natural healing process. When activated, the platelets release healing proteins known as growth factors. These growth factors have the ability to accelerate healing and stimulate cellular growth after an injury.
Common Conditions Treated by PRP Knee Injections
PRP for Knee Deterioration Injuries
An injury to the ligaments and menisci in the knee can be very painful and debilitating, and may lead to deterioration of articular cartilage within the joint. An autologous blood injection in the knee is designed to help ligament and cartilage injuries heal more rapidly without the need of surgical intervention.
PRP for Knee Tendon Injuries
Tendon injuries have a high response rate to PRP knee injections in many patients. One of the most common knee tendon injuries is a patellar tendon injury. The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the top of the shinbone (tibia). The patella attaches to the quadriceps muscles by the quadriceps tendon. Working together, the quadriceps muscles, quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon straighten the knee joint.
PRP for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects the knee, commonly seen in patients over the age of 50 years. Daily impact and athletic activities cause deterioration to articular cartilage, leading to joint pain, stiffness and swelling.
Recent research from the Hospital of Special Surgery (HSS) found that PRP knee injections improved pain and function in up to 73% of patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis and even appeared to delay the progression of osteoarthritis.
PRP for Bone on Bone Knee Injuries
Articular cartilage is the white, smooth tissue that covers the ends of each bone throughout the human body. In the knees, cartilage lesions or tears are extremely common. If the lesions go all the way through to the bone it is called a full-thickness lesion. PRP knee injections have the ability to provide nutrients and oxygen necessary to help slow down damage to the articular cartilage.
How Does Dr. Matthew Provencher Perform an Autologous Blood Injection in the Knee?
Dr. Provencher begins an autologous blood injection in the knee by extracting a small sample of a patient’s own blood, most commonly from the arm. The harvested blood is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the four main blood structures. Once separated, the platelet rich plasma is removed and injected directly into the injured knee’s tissue to accelerate healing. Since PRP therapy is an autologous blood injection obtained from a patient’s own blood, the risk of reaction is low.
For more resources on an autologous blood injection in the knee, or to determine if you are a candidate for PRP knee injections, please contact the orthopedic office of Dr. Matthew Provencher, serving patients in Denver, Vail and Aspen, Colorado.