Saturday, October 31, 2009

Platelet Rich Plasma in Joint Injuries and Osteoarthritis

Arthritis specialists predict by the year 2030 there will be 67 million Americas with arthritis and Platelet-Rich Plasma injections may alleviate if not eliminate the pain arthritis will cause. An article in the Boston Globe centers around Josephine "Jo" Foster, a 79 year old Massachusetts restaurant hostess plagued by osteoarthritis in her knees, who opted for PRP injections as treatment.

"I haven't got time for arthritis," says Foster in the article. "That's old people, not me."

Disease trackers warn the number of young Americans with painful osteoarthritis will increase due to obesity as time elapses.

“It’s not at all uncommon to see severe osteoarthritis in people at age 40 because of the presence of obesity," says the Arthritis Foundation's chief science officer, Dr. John Harden said.

But for Jo, knee replacement surgery was not an option. She had both knees injected with PRP in September.

“My doctor said there may be pain so I went home and waited for the pain,’’ said Foster, who has undergone a variety of other noninvasive therapies unsuccessfully.

“There is no pain now,’’ Foster continued. “None whatsoever.’’

Foster’s physician, Dr. Joanne Borg-Stein, specializes in rehabilitation and sports medicine. Dr. Borg-Stein has treated about 175 patients with Platelet-Rich Plasma injections in the past year.

“I like to be honest with patients and tell them that we are just starting to get data in from animal trials, that we don’t have really good human data,’’ Borg-Stein said. “People have to be willing to accept that they are on the leading edge with this.’’

To read this Boston Globe article, click here and scroll down to "Boston Globe: What a Pain"

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