PRP vs. Viscosupplementation: Which is Right for You?

You might be able to blame arthritis for a painful or stiff joint, or there may be another injury to the tissues supporting it. In any case, joint pain and stiffness are limiting and may not always respond to at-home care efforts. 

Double board-certified pain management specialist Glenn M. Flanagan, MD, uses the world’s leading procedures to restore your joint function. At Naples Regenerative Institute in Naples, Florida, he treats persistent knee pain, shoulder pain, back pain, and other painful joints with a comprehensive approach that focuses on true healing — not just temporary solutions. 

Whether you’re among the 21.2% of adults in the United States with doctor-diagnosed arthritis or have joint pain due to a prior injury, Dr. Flanagan supports you with cutting-edge treatments compassionately provided in his office. Let’s compare two industry-leading injectable therapies for joint pain available at Naples Regenerative Institute.

Platelet-rich plasma: How it works

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a natural substance derived from a sample of the patient’s own blood. It is now a common tool in orthopedics and sports medicine. 

Today, PRP injections treat arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, and other conditions that cause chronic joint pain. The substance contains growth factors and chemokines — bioactive components that trigger restorative cell and tissue growth. 

PRP is unique because it can treat high blood supply soft tissues like tendons and ligaments as well as low blood supply tissues like cartilage. Dr. Flanagan administers PRP carefully using imaging technology to guide the injection. 

If you undergo PRP therapy, you must first get a blood draw to collect the necessary blood sample. Dr. Flanagan processes the sample in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets from the other blood cells. 

Viscosupplementation for joint pain

Viscosupplementation is another imaging-guided injectable treatment for joint pain, specifically joint pain due to osteoarthritis. 

As a wear-and-tear condition, osteoarthritis causes increasing damage within a joint over time. The condition wears down the soft cartilage inside an affected joint. 

Cartilage is coated in a lubricating substance called hyaluronic acid (HA). Osteoarthritis reduces the hyaluronic acid in your joints, causing stiffness and grating movement. 

Viscosupplementation replaces the missing hyaluronic acid in painful joints. The procedure is an excellent choice of treatment for osteoarthritis that doesn’t improve with other procedures. While it’s primarily used for knee pain and stiffness, Dr. Flanagan sometimes uses viscosupplementation to treat arthritic hips and other joints. 

Optimizing your results with comprehensive care

A comprehensive and personalized approach is the best treatment for any type of joint pain. Dr. Flanagan may combine PRP therapy with viscosupplementation or use these treatments individually. As a trained orthopedist and exercise enthusiast, he often recommends other strategies like nutrition and exercise to give you the best treatment outcome. 

Get quality joint pain treatment today

If you want to learn more about emerging treatments for arthritis and other joint pain conditions, call Naples Regenerative Institute or schedule a consultation online at your earliest convenience.

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