What is the Process of an Autologous Blood Injection in the Knee?
To begin treatment of an autologous blood injection in the knee, Dr. Verma will remove a small sample of blood from the patient’s arm, typically 30 milliliters. The blood is then placed in a special machine known as a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds and separates the four main blood components. Once the four components are separated, the platelet rich plasma is removed. The plasma is then injected back into the injured area to accelerating healing.
What Conditions can a PRP Knee Injection Treat?
Dr. Verma commonly recommends a PRP knee injection for these common knee conditions:
PRP for Knee Osteoarthritis
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 wear and tear to articular cartilage in the joint, leading to 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 appeared to delay the progression of osteoarthritis.
PRP for Knee Deterioration Injuries
An injury to the ligaments and menisci in the knee can be very painful and debilitating, and lead to deterioration of cartilage in the knee joint. A ligament and meniscus injury can occur through athletic training, sports competition or from everyday falls and accidents. An autologous blood injection in the knee is designed to help ligament and cartilage injuries heal more rapidly without the need of surgery.
Another common knee injury treated by PRP knee injections is tendon injuries. 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. Common conditions associated with the patellar tendon are patellar tendinitis, patellar femoral syndrome, and chondromalacia patella and patellar instability.
PRP for Bone on Bone Knees
Articular cartilage is the tough, white, smooth tissue that covers the ends of each bone throughout the human body. In the knees, cartilage lesions or tears are very common. If the lesions go all the way through to the bone it is called a full-thickness lesion. PRP for bone on bone knees can provide nutrients and oxygen needed to help slowdowl articular cartilage damage and alleviate the associated symptoms.
PRP Non-Surgical Treatment Alternative
Many knee injuries and conditions are treated with non-surgical measures at the beginning of treatment. Conservative measures include rest, ice, medications, activity modifications and physical therapy. When non-surgical measures no longer alleviate symptoms, patients are often recommended surgery to alleviate symptoms and improve function. With PRP knee injections, patients may be able to prolong or completely eliminate the need the surgery. Since PRP is an autologous blood injection, obtained from a patient’s own blood, the risk of reaction is low.
A PRP knee injection takes less than 15 minutes. Response to treatment will vary with each patient. Most patients will require 1-3 sets of PRP knee injections, with each set of treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart.
If you are interested in seeking PRP knee injections, or would like to determine if you are a candidate for an autologous blood injection in the knee, please contact Dr. Nikhil Verma, knee specialist in the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois area.