Patient Success Story | Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for Hand Pain
When Marilyn hit her retirement, she set out to stay more active than ever before. She planned on filling her days with activities such as swimming, rowing, biking, pottery, and playing with her grandkids. She finally had the freedom to do all the activities she loves, but there was only one thing standing in here way: osteoarthritis. “I’ve dealt with arthritis in my feet and knees before, but it wasn’t until I had osteoarthritis in my hands that everything changed,” says Marilyn. “I need my hands to do so many things that I enjoy doing.”
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis that causes the joints to degenerate. According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis affects approximately 27 million Americans. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it most commonly occurs in the knees, hands, wrists, and shoulders.
The most common forms of treatment for osteoarthritis include activity modification, rehabilitation, steroid injections, and in severe cases, surgery. “For a decade, I received steroid injections in my hands to relieve pain, and while they worked for a while, I wanted a more long-term option that didn’t include surgery, so I scheduled an appointment at Orlando Hand Surgery Associates,” says Marilyn.
“When I first met Marilyn she came to see me after having repeated steroid injections into her finger for severe arthritis; she was having problems bending her fingers, and she was having significant pain,” says Dr. Jason Pirozzolo. “Over time, steroid injections can lose their effectiveness however, and that’s why we offered her a different treatment option: platelet rich plasma, which is PRP.”
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
A platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy procedure begins with drawing the patient’s blood. The blood is placed in a specialized tube and then spun in a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the blood into three components: platelet rich plasma, platelet poor plasma, and red blood cells. The doctor only uses the platelet rich plasma component to inject in the area of injury or pain. Watch a video on what to expect during a platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy procedure here.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for Osteoarthritis
We believe platelet rich plasma works by stimulating cartilage matrix production. In addition, platelet rich plasma can help to modulate the inflammatory response. Doing both of those things in the setting of osteoarthritis may result in a reduction of pain and an improvement in function.
What are the benefits of using platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy?
- The procedure is minimally invasive.
- There’s minimal risk involved as the procedure consists of only using your own blood.
- Many patients can resume normal daily activities almost immediately after the procedure.
- Quicker recovery and rehabilitation time when compared to surgery.
After her first platelet rich plasma injection, Marilyn noticed a significant improvement in her pain and function. She’s now back to making pottery for her friends and family and doing the activities she loves. Watch Marilyn share her story with platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy by watching the video above.