Viscous gel vs. PRP for Knee OA | Orthopedic Associates

By John Urse, DO

In the past five years, at least 13 independent studies have examined Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) and knee Osteoarthritis (OA). Eleven directly compared intra-articular (into the knee joint) PRP injections with similarly placed Hyaluronic Acid (HA), or viscous gel. Nine of the studies showed better symptom scores and functional outcomes 6-12 mos after PRP injection vs. viscous gel.

Two of the studies showed no significant benefit. One of those studies used LR-PRP (leukocyte-rich or LR). Leukocytes, or white blood cells, are known to be toxic to synoviocytes, the cells that line joints. Thus, consumers should be sure they are getting Leukocyte-poor PRP (LP-PRP) for any joint injection.

PRP injection is a simple, cost-effective therapy with low complications. The treatment uses the patient’s own blood for natural healing and reduction of inflammation from knee Osteoarthritis (OA). Most patients may fully bear weight immediately and resume normal activities quickly after a single injection.