EXPLORING NON-SURGICAL INTERVENTIONS FOR MUSCULOSKELETAL TREATMENT: PLATELET RICH PLASMA AND HYALURONIC ACID

EXPLORING NON-SURGICAL INTERVENTIONS FOR MUSCULOSKELETAL TREATMENT: PLATELET RICH PLASMA AND HYALURONIC ACID

Many individuals are seeking non-surgical alternatives to traditional treatments for musculoskeletal injuries. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Hyaluronic Acid (HA) are two innovative therapies that have gained popularity recently. Here, we will delve into these services, who would benefit from them, and the advantages of one over the other.

UNDERSTANDING PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP)

Platelet-rich plasma therapy involves extracting a small sample of the patient’s blood, processing it to remove red blood cells and concentrate the platelets, and injecting the platelet-rich solution into the injured area. Platelets contain growth factors that promote tissue healing. This non-surgical intervention is commonly used for musculoskeletal injuries, such as tendonitis, ligament sprains, and osteoarthritis.

WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM PRP?

Individuals who have tried traditional treatments without significant improvement or are seeking non-surgical alternatives can benefit from PRP therapy. Athletes, individuals with chronic joint pain, and those experiencing musculoskeletal injuries can potentially experience pain relief, improved functionality, and accelerated healing with PRP.

ADVANTAGES OF PRP:

  1. Natural Healing: PRP utilizes the patient’s own blood, harnessing the body’s natural healing abilities without the need for synthetic substances or invasive surgeries.
  2. Low Risk of Infection: Since PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood, the risk of infection is minimal, making it a safe option compared to other treatments.  Steroid injection, another common treatment for musculoskeletal pain, dampens the body’s immune response, potentially increasing the risk of infection.
  3. Customized Treatment: PRP therapy can be tailored to suit each patient’s needs, ensuring individualized care and targeted treatment.

DOES IT WORK? 

Promising early evidence suggests the effectiveness of orthobiologic therapies such as PRP. However, rigorous and definitive evidence is not available. For this reason, each patient who may be a candidate for this therapy is considered individually to create a highly customized treatment plan.

UNDERSTANDING HYALURONIC ACID (HA)

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a substance naturally found in the body, particularly in joint fluids and cartilage. HA injections supplement the body’s natural HA levels and provide lubrication and cushioning to joints affected by osteoarthritis. They help reduce pain, improve mobility, and potentially delay the need for surgical interventions like joint replacements.

musculoskeletal injury injection site

WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM HA?

HA injections may benefit individuals with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint conditions. They are particularly suitable for those experiencing joint pain and stiffness.

ADVANTAGES:

  1. Pain Relief: HA injections may significantly reduce joint pain, allowing individuals to regain mobility and engage in activities they may have previously avoided.
  2. Improved Joint Function: HA injections can improve joint function by enhancing joint lubrication and cushioning.
  3. Non-Surgical Alternative: HA injections provide a non-surgical option for individuals who want to manage their osteoarthritis symptoms without undergoing invasive procedures.

DOES IT WORK? 

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), “Although some patients report relief of arthritis symptoms with viscosupplementation, the procedure has never been shown to reverse the arthritic process or re-grow cartilage. The effectiveness of viscosupplementation in treating arthritis is not clear. It has been proposed that viscosupplementation is most effective if the arthritis is in its early stages (mild to moderate), but more research is needed to support this. Research in viscosupplementation and its long-term effects continues.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only approved HA for the knee. It has been used “off-label” in other arthritic joints. Since the research indicates that not all patients benefit from HA, we again use a highly customized approach to assessing a patient’s candidacy for this treatment.

Non-surgical interventions like Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Hyaluronic Acid (HA) injections offer promising alternatives for individuals seeking musculoskeletal treatment without undergoing surgery. PRP therapy harnesses the body’s natural healing abilities, while HA injections provide lubrication and cushioning to joints affected by osteoarthritis. Both treatments offer pain relief, improved functionality, and individualized care.

If you are considering these therapies, schedule a screening appointment to determine your eligibility and explore the potential benefits. Remember, non-surgical options can effectively manage musculoskeletal injuries, and your journey toward recovery starts with finding the right treatment for you.

Keep in mind that injection is just one tool in an overall musculoskeletal health treatment plan. We aim to support the affected joint in the context of the whole person’s health.

For patient information from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, click here for Q&A.

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