Safe Alternative For Cartilage Damage is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, Finds New Study

by Nancy Needhima on  July 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM Research News
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Regarding treatment of cartilage tears in athletes, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a safe and effective method of treatment, states research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Baltimore.
Safe Alternative For Cartilage Damage is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, Finds New Study
Safe Alternative For Cartilage Damage is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, Finds New Study
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"Using PRP therapy to repair cartilage is still relatively experimental, but studies like this show it's not only safe but also offers a significant improvement in function and quality of life for patients," said Elizaveta Kon, MD, lead author for the study and Director of Nano-Biotecnology Laboratory at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna, Italy. "None of the patients treated experienced complications like infection, deep vein thrombosis or fever."

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During the study, 180 patients were treated for chronic pain or swelling of the knee with either PRP therapy or viscosupplementation, a more common hyaluronic acid-based treatment for cartilage damage. A total of 109 patients, with an average age of 56, reached a final evaluation. Both treatment groups demonstrated significant improvement based on higher post-treatment IKDC scores, which measure pain and basic function in follow-up interviews.

"As athletic participation has grown," Kon noted, "new problems like cartilage lesions, or tears, continue to emerge. Finding the right approach to treatment is difficult, but PRP has emerged as a viable option according to our research."

Kon also noted that long-term follow-ups for PRP treatments are needed to further evaluate the overall effectiveness of the therapy for future patients.

Source: Eurekalert
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