Monday, January 25, 2010

Platelet-Rich Plasma Arthritis Video

Susan Chamblee had tried just about everything to fix her extremely painful, arthritic knees. With her final option being total knee replacements, requiring a long, painstaking recovery and the added expense of surgery, she discovered platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) and opted to try it.

While PRP is in its infancy in development and has had both effective and ineffective research results, this video illustrates why PRP should be used in cases such as Ms. Chamblee's.

Watch this Video


Note: Ms. Chamblee was in no way compensated for her story and testimony.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Platelet-Rich Plasma and Arthritis

A recently published PRP study from the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna, Italy, found platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injected in knees with degenerative cartilage lesions (arthritis), can improve knee function.

The study, published in October 2009 by Kon et al, consisted of 100 patients and 115 knees affected by chronic degeneration. 150-ml of venous blood was twice centrifuge. 3 PRP units of 5-ml each were for the intra-articular injections. Patients were evaluated clinically at the beginning and the end of the treatment and at both 6 and 12 months following treatment. IKDC, objective and subjective, and EQ and VAS were used for clinical evaluation. Importance of sex, age, BMI and grade of OA was evaluated statistically.

The statistical results show steady improvement up to 6 months following treatment. The results at the 12 month follow-up were significantly worse, although higher than the basal level.

These results indicate intra-articular PRP knee injections produce favorable results on degenerative cartilage lesions.

Click here for summary of study.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recent JAMA Platelet Rich Plasma article

A new PRP study from researchers in the Netherlands declared platelet-rich plasma is ineffective in healing moderate Achilles tendinopathy. Researchers had 54 patients gauge pain levels at 6, 12 and 24 weeks following treatment. One patient group was given a PRP injection and the other, a saline injection (placebo). The study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) by de Vos et al, concluded PRP was no more effective than the saline injection when both groups added therapeutic exercises into their recovery routines.

The study has received extensive media coverage and has been quick to cite PRP as ineffective. It is important to view the controls of the study before conclusions are made however.

This study's data does support PRP's ineffectiveness after a 6 month period in only moderate Achilles tendinopathy. It does not include either minor or severe cases. This study was published at its midpoint. Researchers will follow up on patients' recovery in 12 months and it is possible PRP patients will continue to improve and the placebo group will not.

Importantly, no data is available on platelet concentrations given to the PRP group. As this study is one of many to come determining the proper use of PRP, platelet concentration levels in PRP groups will be crucial to disclose. If patients received too low a platelet concentration in their injection, results would likely vary in higher doses. This will be a vital component of determining the optimal formula of PRP.

Patients receiving PRP to treat plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy have been benefited by the use of a boot following therapy. This allows the injury time to heal without chronic tension and permits the growth factors to work without continued trauma. There is no data in this study on whether boots were used.

Legitimate studies are very important to further the understanding of PRP's effectiveness and uses and this study should be recognized as such. The study is however, incomplete. This must be taken into account before significant conclusions are drawn about PRP's effectiveness.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Regenerative Medicine in US and China

Regenerative Medicine is a developing interdisciplinary field of research and clinical applications aimed at repairing, replacing or regenerating cells, tissues, or organs. Regenerative Medicine uses a combination of approaches including gene therapy, stem cell transplantation, tissue engineering, and the reprogramming of cell and tissue types.

An article in this month's Regenerative Medicine Journal states, "China has been able to catapult itself into the forefront of regenerative medicine" (Thorsteinsdóttir et al). While Chinese investment in stem cell research has increased by over US$40 billion in the past 14 years, and has increased its peer-reviewed publishing from 37 in 2000 to 1,116 in 2008, the emergence is in large part due to the lack of regulation.

According to the Toronto Sun, there are over 200 cases of clinics and hospitals offering completely unproven stem cell therapies for profit, greatly tainting China's emergence.

Meanwhile, while the founding of US-based biotech companies has slowed due to the high-price of research and development and FDA regulation, the United States has awarded generous grants to to Universities and research teams in Michigan and California to help economic development through regenerative medical innovation.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Scaffold Tissue Engineering in Regenerative Medicine

The November issue of Discover Magazine contained an article about new attempts to create implants that simulate connective tissue through scaffold tissue engineering.

Tendons are difficult to repair once severed due to the challenge of reconnecting them to bone. Surgical attempts to anchor the severed tendon to bone often fail because the materials are very different.

Stavros Thomopoulos and Younan Xia, biomedical engineers at Washington University in St. Louis, "are building synthetic interfaces that re-create the architecture of natural connective tissue in hopes of tricking the body to regrow the broken connection."

The scaffold made of microscopic nanofibers, is dense and bonelike on one end and pliable and tendonlike on the other, increasing the likelihood for a successful connection.

These new interfaces are an encouraging development in Orthopedic regenerative medicine.

Read Full article here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Platelet Rich Plasma Potential

OrthoSuperSite.com is the website of a top healthcare business publication titled Orthopedics. In 2009, Medical Marketing & Media (MM&M), a business publication for healthcare marketers, recognized Orthopedics as a finalist for “Best Healthcare Business Publication.” OrthoSuper Site.com publishes daily information about all orthopedic topics. A December 22 article from OthoSuperSite revealed their most viewed article in 2009 transcribbed a clinical round table discussion on the role of platelet-rich plasma in connective tissue repair.

This is reflective of both public and industrial interest in the emerging therapy's potential.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Setting the Record Straight: Tiger Woods' PRP Treatment

Click here to link to an article dispelling misinformation about Tiger's PRP treatment.