Joint Preservation

Joint preservation is an emerging field in orthopedics that evolved primarily in response to the limitations in joint replacement technology. Orthopedic surgeons have turned to joint preservation as a way to prevent or delay the onset of osteoarthritis or other degenerative conditions affecting the joints, particularly in young patients. Joint preservation is also common in individuals with knee arthritis who are not candidates for or wish to delay joint replacement surgery. Source

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can be a very effective treatment and has been used by some of the world’s top athletes for joint problems. Although blood is mainly a liquid (called plasma), it also contains small solid components (red cells, white cells, and platelets.) The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries.

PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual.

To develop a PRP preparation, blood must first be drawn from a patient. The platelets are separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation. Then the increased concentration of platelets is combined with the remaining blood. Source

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