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The high cost of bone and cartilage pathologies has influenced the trend toward preventive interventions and therapeutic options that regenerate tissue homeostasis and retard progression to Osteoarthritis. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is one therapeutic application with promising preliminary clinical results. PRP is blood plasma containing concentrated platelets. It is an innovative therapeutic technique that promotes the natural healing processes in the human body as it exploits the high regenerative potential of growth factors released by platelets present in the blood.

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Autologous PRP can be obtained from simple blood extraction with a commercially available kit. Once the blood is collected into a tube containing anticoagulant, it undergoes a centrifugation process to produce PRP, which is then injected into injured areas where it releases growth factors able to stimulate regeneration and healing of the lesion naturally and selectively.  Initially the procedure may cause some localized soreness in the treated area due to the injection. Rest is advisable for 24-48 hours to reduce the risk of joint inflammation. Ice can be applied to relieve discomfort (20 minutes a few times per day).

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The aim of PRP injections is to reduce or eliminate pain and inflammation, prevent or contain functional limitations accelerating healing, or avoiding alternative treatment, from cortisone and anti-inflammatory injections to surgery.

PRP injections can be performed for the treatment of osteoarthritis and in general in cartilage damage. They are also effective in several cartilage conditions such as Osteoarthritis, chondropathy, chondromalacia patellae, focal chondral lesions etc.

Recently our study on the treatment of patients presenting with symptomatic osteoarthritis received the 2012 Sports Health T. David Sisk Award for Best International Paper”.

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