PRP & cartilage transplantation
PRP and cartilage cell transplantation for osteoarthritis are still considered controversial treatments.
PRP and cartilage cell transplantation as treatments for osteoarthritis (OA) remain controversial. They are considered experimental treatments and lack scientific evidence to support their use for treating OA. More clinical studies are needed to be able to draw proper conclusions about the possible effects of the two treatments.
PRP stands for "Platelet Rich Plasma" and is an experimental treatment used to reduce OA pain. On the day of the treatment, a sample of the patient’s blood is drawn which is then centrifuged. The centrifuge separates the platelets (our smallest blood cells) from other blood cells, leaving a platelet-concentrated blood plasma that is injected into the OA affected area. The treatment aims to release growth factors to stimulate stem cells and produce new cartilage cells. However, there is insufficient evidence that PRP injection would have a better effect on OA symptoms than placebo injections. The treatment method is also very expensive for the patient as it is not covered by medical insurance. PRP thereby continues to be a controversial treatment, especially since there is money to be made by marketing the treatment as effective. More studies are needed to further evaluate the effects of PRP.
Cartilage cell transplantation
Cartilage cell transplantation is not a very common procedure and is mainly offered to young and middle-aged individuals with loss of cartilage after suffering a traumatic joint injury. Occasionally, the treatment is also offered to OA patients. There are various ways of performing cartilage cell transplantation, but the principle is the same for all procedures: to stimulate the growth of new cartilage and repair damaged cartilage. However, there is not enough scientific evidence that cartilage cell transplantation actually works and there is a lack of data comparing the treatment method to placebo.