The number of people in the United States who struggle with arthritis is growing rapidly thanks to an aging population — 54 million have already been diagnosed and experts predict that this number will reach 78 million by 2040. If you find yourself in this group, you understand the frustration and discomfort that come with painful and inflamed joints. In your goal to find relief and restore your quality of life, take a look at platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, which is revolutionizing how we approach arthritis.
At BCS Medical in Bryan, Texas, our team of regenerative medicine and musculoskeletal experts understands the limitations and pain that come with arthritis and we work with our patients to regain long-term mobility. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by tapping the incredible resources that already lie within the human body — in this case, your platelets.
Here’s a look at how PRP therapy is changing the way we address arthritis.
The power of platelets
Your blood contains four ingredients, including:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
The platelets in your blood are widely recognized for their clotting abilities, preventing your body from losing too much blood. But their job doesn’t stop there.
When you injure yourself, say cut your finger, your platelets jump into action and clot the blood vessel to stem the bleeding. With this accomplished, they then turn their attention to the damaged tissue. In addition to clotting, your platelets are also credited with:
- Modulating inflammation
- Remodeling your soft and hard tissues, as well as blood vessels
- Synthesizing collagen — a structural protein
To create this ultimate healing environment, your platelets release growth factors, or proteins. These growth factors call upon other resources in your body, such as stem cells, creating an all-hands-on-deck healing response to quickly repair and rebuild your damaged tissue.
Targeting your joints with platelets
Now that you better understand what your platelets are capable of, imagine harnessing their power and redirecting them into your beleaguered joints, especially those affected by osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis. That’s exactly what we’re doing with PRP therapy.
The first step in PRP therapy is to draw a sample of your own blood. We then use a special centrifuge to isolate your platelets, creating a concentrate. We subsequently mix this concentrate of platelets back in with your plasma and inject your problematic joints with the healing solution.
Once we introduce your platelets, they release their growth factors, which signal your body to send in the necessary resources to help repair and rebuild the tissues inside your joint, all while regulating the inflammation.
Most of our patients benefit from a series of PRP treatments, which we space apart to allow time for your body to respond. Your results are gradual as your body repairs and rebuilds from within, but soon enough, you’ll be able to make your way through the world with less pain and stiffness.
If you’d like to explore whether you’re a candidate for our revolutionary PRP treatments, please contact our office to set up an appointment, either by phone or using our easy online booking feature.