Combining Prp And Hyaluronic Acid
A team of Italian researchers examined the role of a combined hyaluronic acid and PRP treatment in a March 2021 published study.
In this study, clinical outcomes of patients suffering from mild or moderate knee osteoarthritis were treated with Leukocyte and platelet-rich plasma or PRP + hyaluronic acid intra-articular injections. Outcomes were observed 3 months and 1 year after the injective treatment.
A significant improvement of pain score was present in both groups, the Leukocyte PRP group, and the PRP + hyaluronic acid. Pain reduction was effective after 3 months and improved after 1 year. The group treated with PRP + hyaluronic acid showed a significant improvement in knee mobility and function scores. In both groups, however, the improvement in Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score , a self-reported measure of functional ability and knee-related quality of life, did not reach significance.
What does this mean? The researchers concluded: In our point of view, we encourage the use of PRP injections as a simple, safe, and minimally invasive treatment approach. Our comparison of PRP + hyaluronic acid and Leukocyte-PRP suggests that PRP + hyaluronic acid could possibly determine better functional and mobility outcomes. However, our work could not be sufficient to definitively suggest a therapeutic choice: Further evidence is needed.
What is Leukocyte- and platelet-rich plasma treatment? What is its connection to hyaluronic acid?
How To Use Pain Medications Properly
There are two types of over-the-counter pain medications that can be used for osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever but not an anti-inflammatory. It may help with mild knee pain.
NSAIDs can be more effective because they both relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, they come with potential side effects and risks. NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach, which may lead to an ulcer or other stomach problems. They also can impair kidney function. Some NSAIDs can increase blood pressure. And theyve been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.
Because of the risks, Dr. Day cautions against using NSAIDs regularly over long periods of time. Instead, she uses NSAIDs for her patients in two ways. First, people who have a flare-up of pain can take them regularly for three to five days and then stop. Second, they can be used over the long term, but only occasionally, maybe a couple of times a week as needed.
If youre taking NSAIDs several times a day for long periods of time, Dr. Day advises reducing their use by maximizing the other treatment strategies. She also suggests trying a topical NSAID, such as diclofenac , which has fewer potential side effects.
Opioid pain relievers are discouraged for long-term treatment of chronic knee pain. The milder narcotic tramadol might be appropriate for occasional use in some people, says Dr. Day.
Research: Prolotherapy Treatments For Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis Showed Significant Improvement In Scores For Pain Function And Range Of Motion
In February 2020, Lisa May Billesberger, MD a private practice physician in Canada teamed with Duke Anesthesiology, Duke University School of Medicine to offer a current assessment of injectable treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis. Here are the summary points on Prolotherapy.
- Prolotherapy is a relatively simple and inexpensive treatment with a high safety profile, is something that could easily be performed in the primary care setting, and is thus worth consideration.
- The exact mechanism of Prolotherapy is not well understood, but it is thought to induce a pro-inflammatory response that results in the release of growth factors and cytokines, ultimately resulting in a regenerative process within the affected joint.
- Injection of the hyperosmolar dextrose solution might also hyperpolarize nociceptive pain fibers by forcing open potassium channels, resulting in reduced pain perception.
- In sum, Prolotherapy likely provides at least some benefit, although the quality of available data makes this statement hard to prove and it certainly does not cause harm.
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Cautions With Other Medicines
There are many medicines that can affect the way hydrocortisone injections work.
It’s very important to check with your doctor or pharmacist that a medicine is safe to mix with hydrocortisone injections before you start having them.
Growth And Healing Factors In Prp This Is What Makes Prp Work
A paper in the journal Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism describes the growth, healing, and repair factors found in platelet-rich plasma. These are the healing factors and what they do:
- PDGF initiates connective tissue healing through the promotion of collagen and protein synthesis.
- The primary effect of PDGF seems to be its mitogenic activity to mesoderm-derived cells such as fibroblasts ,
- Vascular muscle cells .
- Glial cells and chondrocytes .
- The most important specific activity of PDGF is the creation of cartilage.
So the concept is here. These healing growth factors in your blood are taken and spun, to separate out a platelet-rich plasma solution filled with these healing and growth factors, and then the solution is injected into your knee.
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What To Expect After Prp Or Stem Cell Injections
Doctors recommend avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for four to six weeks after a therapeutic injection with stem cells or platelet-rich plasma while the injury heals. This is because injections of biologic material stimulate the bodys inflammatory response, an important part of healing. If the injection site is sore or swollen in the days after treatment, doctors recommend taking over-the-counter acetaminophen and applying an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time three times a day.
You should also avoid strenuous activities using the knee for four weeks after an injection to give the injured tissue time to heal. Your doctor may provide you with a boot to keep your foot and leg immobile. All weight should be kept off of the knee for two days, and your doctor can provide you with crutches to help you move around without putting weight on the joint. The boot should be worn for two to three weeks.
Your doctor schedules a follow-up appointment after three or four weeks to evaluate the healing process. He or she may recommend an additional platelet-rich plasma or stem cell injection depending on the extent of the injury.
Other Injections: Hyaluronic Acid Botox And More
Some people have used other types of injections for OA of the knee.
However, experts from the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation dont currently recommend using these, as theres not enough evidence that they work.
Examples of other types of injections include:
- hyaluronic acid injections, also known as viscosupplementation
You may not know exactly what type of injection youre receiving or what the effect might be.
Always discuss the pros and cons of any treatment with your doctor before starting, so that you can make an informed decision.
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Where Are Hyaluronic Acid Shots Given Do They Hurt
If you are going to get hyaluronic acid injections, the actual process is fairly simple. They are directly injected into the affected knee joint, specifically within the synovial fluid that bathes the joint, Dr. Miller says. Like any injection, it may seem more painful to some people than others, but there should not be a lot of pain since a sharp needle is used and the joint may be numbed first with a local anesthetic.
Why Would An Arthritis Patient Get Hyaluronic Acid Injections Vs Other Treatments
Typically, you would try other conservative treatments first, like weight loss, exercise, NSAID medications, and steroid injections. If those dont help, hyaluronic injections may be an option.
Some patients might have other conditions for which for first-line treatments would be contraindicated. Some doctors might use hyaluronic acid injections along with steroid injections as well. I had the injection every week for three weeks along with cortisone injections, Sharon Ruoto told us on Facebook. I did this every six months for years.
Although hyaluronic acid is also available as a pill, the shots are usually preferred. Advantages are targeted relief to the joint with no systemic side effects from pills, and the convenience of not taking pills by mouth, Dr. Miller says. Brand names of the hyaluronic acid shot include Euflexxa, Supartz, and Synvisc-One.
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Do You Need Imaging Guidance To Inject A Knee
Do not allow a physician or other provider to inject your knee without either ultrasound or x-ray guidance, as blind injections have a significant miss rate. This means that the doctor wont actually get the substance in your knee joint. In order to see how difficult it can be to inject a knee properly using ultrasound, see a course I taught physicians below:
Research Comparing Prp Bone Marrow And Adipose
A July 2020 study published in the journal Clinical Medicine Insights Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders, compared platelet-rich plasma , bone marrow aspirate concentrate, and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell injections in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee using functional scores.
- Methods: A total of 89 patients with painful knee osteoarthritis were included in this study.
- Patients were assigned to one of the 3 treatments according to the severity of osteoarthritis as indicated by symptoms and radiography to PRP , bone marrow aspirate concentrate , or adipose-derived MSC .
- Clinical assessment was performed using standard scoring systems, Surveys were completed at preoperative, and at 90, 180, and 265 days post-treatment.
Results: They all worked well.
- In a general statement, the PRP worked just as well in stage 1 knee osteoarthritis patients as the bone marrow aspirate worked in the stage 2 knee osteoarthritis patients and the adipose-derived stem cells worked for the stage 3 knee osteoarthritis patients. To quote the researchers: Our findings support previous reports and encourage further research on the use of these cost-effective treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee.
This is also a validation of our policy of not going straight to stem cell therapy in some of our patients. PRP or Prolotherapy, which is discussed below can provide equally good results without the added expense.
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Should You Try Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Doctors can’t predict who will benefit from hyaluronic acid injections. But many doctors give them to people with knee OA whose symptoms donât get better with painkillers or non-drug treatments such as heat or ice.
Who Can And Cannot Have Hydrocortisone Injections
Most adults and children, including babies, can have hydrocortisone injections.
Hydrocortisone injections are not suitable for some people. Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone or any other medicine
- have ever had depression or manic depression or if any of your close family has had these illnesses
- have an infection
- are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or you are breastfeeding
- have recently been in contact with someone with chickenpox, shingles or measles
- have recently had, or you’re due to have, any vaccinations
Hydrocortisone injections can make some health problems worse so it’s important that your doctor monitors you.
Make sure your doctor knows if you have:
If you have diabetes and monitor your own blood sugar, you will need to do this more often. Hydrocortisone injections can affect your blood sugar control.
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Comparing Botox To Other Treatments
A June 2019 study in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation compared the effectiveness of intra-articular injection of Botulinum toxin type A , triamcinolone hexacetonide , and saline in primary knee osteoarthritis. The study found the cortisone injections had higher effectiveness than Botox or the saline in the short-term assessment for pain in movement.
Reverse Injection: Fluid Aspiration
Fluid aspiration from a joint, called arthrocentesis, is the process of inserting a needle into a joint to remove excess fluid. The knee is the most frequently aspirated joint.
Joint inflammation and swelling that occur due to osteoarthritis can produce excess synovial fluid within the knee, restricting movement and causing increased pain. Removing the fluid by aspirating the joint with a needle can help reduce pain and improve swelling.
- Your doctor may use a local numbing agent, such as lidocaine, either topically around the knee or by injecting it within the knee joint.
- A needle is inserted into the knee joint at either side of the patella, and a syringe is used to pull fluid out of the knee.
- Fluid aspiration may be performed by itself or prior to receiving another type of injection, and generally takes 30 minutes or less to complete.
- The numbing agent will typically wear off after two to four hours. It is common to have some pain or soreness for one to two days after the procedure.
Pain relief from fluid aspiration can last for six months or more.
While arthrocentesis is often performed for diagnosis and prior to joint injection, it is not typically used on its own for therapeutic purposes, as it does not fix the underlying issue that caused the joint effusion .
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What Happens After Viscosupplementation Treatment For Arthritis
You should be able to go home shortly after your procedure. Ask your healthcare provider if it is OK for you to drive. For about 48 hours, you should avoid standing for long periods, excessive walking, jogging, or lifting heavy weights.
Some people have slight pain, warmth, and swelling right after their procedure. These symptoms usually dont last long. Using an ice pack may help. Tell your healthcare provider right away if these symptoms dont go away soon, or if you have severe warmth, redness, pain, or high fever. Follow all your healthcare providers instructions about medicines and follow-up care.
Make sure to keep all of your future appointments. The procedure may not work effectively if you do not receive the full series of injections.
You should not expect your hyaluronic acid injection to relieve your symptoms immediately. It may take several weeks before you begin to notice a difference. Your relief from symptoms may last for several months.
If viscosupplementation is effective for you, you may be able to repeat the injection in 6 months or so. The procedure doesnt help everyone, though. If the procedure doesnt work for you, continue to talk to your healthcare provider about other treatment choices, like joint surgery.
When To Consider Therapeutic Injections For Knee Arthritis Pain
Cortisone, hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma , and stem cell injections, as well as prolotherapy can all be used to treat knee osteoarthritis. ReadTherapeutic Injections for Knee Arthritis
This page discusses when a patient might be advised to consider a therapeutic injection, such as a cortisone, hyaluronic acid, or platelet rich plasma injection.
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Study : Two Groups Of Patients One Group Gets Prp The Other Group Gets Cortisone How Did This Comparison Work Out
In an October 2020 study also comparing PRP and corticosteroid, similar findings were recorded. PRP results were better over time and the lack of side-effects should be considered if debating between one treatment or the other.
- In this study, the researchers found PRP had more significant values for improvement in comparison with corticosteroids, especially in the long-term .
- Both PRP and corticosteroid improved the functional and pain status in 30 and 180 days, but patients who had the PRP treatment showed a greater pain improvement.
The Debate Over Hyaluronic Acid Injections Knee Injections One Study Suggests That Hyaluronic Acid Is A Waste Of Time Money And Resources Another Says It Works Okay
We do see many patients who have tried hyaluronic acid injections. For some, they did have a degree of success and the injections provided short-term pain relief. Many of these people are now in our office because the short-term has not transpired to the long-term and now they are on the path to knee replacement.
The idea behind hyaluronic acid injections is to protect the knee by reintroducing lost or diminished hyaluronic acid in the knees synovial fluid or providing a cushion. The synovial fluid is a thick gel-like liquid that helps cushion the knee and acts to absorb the daily impact of walking and running and stair climbing our knees are subjected to.
The treatment of Hyaluronic Acid Injections is also called Viscosupplementation supplementing the viscosity or the thick, sticky, gel-like properties of the synovial fluid. People will also recognize these injection treatments as Viscosupplementation rooster comb injections, rooster shots, chicken shots, as well as by trade names Euflexxa ®, Supartz ® Supartz FX ®, Synvisc-One ®, Synvisc ®, Hyalgan ®, Orthovisc ®, et al. All these products offer subtle differences in their treatment goals including the number of injections however, none of them offer a permanent solution. This is what the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeonsposted on their website:
We have two studies here: The first says Hyaluronic Acid Injections are okay. The second says Hyaluronic Acid Injections are a waste.
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