By Annette “Dr. Z” Zaharoff, M.D.
A new pilot study by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine provides even more evidence that one of the major Regenerative Injection Treatments for joint and musculoskeletal pain we administer at the Non-Surgical Center of Texas, quite simply, works.
Results published in the journal “Regenerative Medicine” showed just a single injection of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in the knee joint “significantly improved functional mobility, pain and quality of life after six weeks” for patients with knee osteoarthritis, according to a Baylor College of Medicine release.
Here’s a quick refresher on PRP, which is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The treatment involves taking the patient’s blood and removing this leukocyte-rich platelet-rich plasma. These platelets contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors vital to initiating and accelerating tissue repair and regeneration.
These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing cascade which includes bone, tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, by promoting development of new blood vessels, and stimulating the wound healing process.
For more than 15 years at the Non-Surgical Center of Texas, we have offered PRP and other Regenerative Injection Treatments, usually guided by ultrasound, which can help patients recover from injuries or chronic pain. Some conditions that may be treated include:
• Knee, hip and shoulder osteoarthritis
• Rotator cuff tears (Shoulder)
• ACL, meniscus, PCL and ligament tears (Knee)
• Plantar fasciitis
• Neck pain
• Low back pain
• Elbow or hand pain
What sets the Baylor study apart from others is the use of wearable technology, like a Fitbit, to more objectively assess a patient’s progress. One major functional outcome they examined is how quickly a patient gets up from a chair, also known as time up-and-go, or TUG.
Another interesting point is that the study looked at the impact of a single injection, not a series of injections. A total of 12 patients received one PRP injection, and were evaluated six weeks later. At that time, their TUG was significantly improved, with less pain.
Funding agencies for the research include the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute on Aging. Researchers believe the outcomes justify large-scale, randomized clinical trials to solidify the efficacy of PRP as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis, which affects more than 52 million people in the United States alone.
It’s another step in the right direction for wider acceptance of these injection treatments as a safe, longer-lasting and effective way to help people live free from pain with improved quality of life. If you are living with chronic joint pain, talk to a physiatrist (physical medicine and rehabilitation physician) about whether any of these treatments are right for you.
Dr. Annette “Dr. Z” Zaharoff heads the Non-Surgical Center of Texas, focusing on non-surgical treatments to relieve pain and repair injuries. A former professional tennis player who competed on the WTA circuit, Dr. Zaharoff has been utilizing regenerative injection treatments including Stem Cell Therapy, PRP Injection Therapy and Prolotherapy for more than a decade. Learn more about her at www.drzmd.com. You can follow her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DrZaharoff.