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Knee pain management

Author: Gautam Das

Knee joints not only carry our body weight, it helps us to stand, sit, walk & run. Our knee joint is made up of three bones, femur, patela and tibia. Like there are buffers at the end of tables and chairs made up of tough rubber or plastic, end of our bones are covered with cartilages. This cartilage prevents friction between bones.

What is osteoarthritis?

It’s a disease where there is decay of cartilages at the end of bones. Cartilage surface becomes irregular, thickness of cartilage is reduced and gap between two bones are reduced. Reasons of osteoarthritis are age, body weight, family predisposition & trauma. Osteoarthritis is manifested as pain after exertion with cracking sounds particularly climbing up or down the stairs.

How should we treat osteoarthritis?

Early osteoarthritis can be treated with body weight reduction, exercises and medicines. But advanced osteoarthritis needs knee joint replacement surgery. But, Platelet rich plasma or PRP injection is a breakthrough in medical treatment of osteoarthritis of knee where cartilage can grow. Visco-supplementation & Radio-frequency procedures are other options.

What is Platelet rich plasma or PRP injection?

There are some growth factors inside our body which helps us to repair damaged tissues. This growth factors are mostly inside platelets. These platelets can be concentrated and injected at knee. This is also called regeneration therapy because it prevents further decay and repair decayed cartilage.

Steps of PRP injection:

  • About 30 ml of patient’s own blood is taken in a container containing anticoagulant, which do not allow the blood to clot and keep it fluid.
  • Then it is centrifuged in special machine that is capable of spin in high speed with temperature control.
  • Blood is taken and platelet part is separated which accumulate at the middle part.
  • This platelet part of blood is then injected inside knee under ultrasound guidance after injecting local anesthetic at injection site. 

Dos & don’ts after PRP injection:

  • If there is pain, swelling or heat at knee apply ice, and take pain medicines as advised by doctor.
  • Don’t apply hot fomentation, don’t stand or walk too much or lift heavy items, particularly on first 2 days.

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