Osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis (AVN) is a bone condition where bone tissue cells die due to a lack of blood supply. Fairly common in weight bearing joints, osteonecrosis is often treated with surgical procedures to re-establish blood supply or replace the entire joint. Recently, however, Victor Ibrahim, M.D. demonstrated that using a non-surgical injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) was effective in managing advanced stage osteonecrosis of the hip.
Bone is a dynamic organ, with cells constantly breaking down and creating new bone tissue. Necrosis can severely impact bones and joints, causing degeneration and pain, both of which hinder movement and function. As a major muscle attachment area and prime locomotion articulation, the hip plays an important role in daily activities. Patients with AVN of the hip need to address the issue quickly to avoid as much damage as possible.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) is based on using a concentrated platelet sample from the same patient and injecting it into an area of injured tissue, such as a necrotic hip joint. PRP contains vital substances and cells that create new tissue and repair damage. After taking blood from the patient, the plasma sample is then spun down in a centrifuge to separate the needed healing properties. These constituents can be further selected for a specific area of bone or soft tissue to enhance the body’s natural capacity to heal. Using ultrasound-guided imagery, a physician then injects the specialized plasma substances into the target area. Once the PRP injection is complete, the body naturally uses the added cells and growth factors to heal and repair tissue.
Used in conjunction with surgical procedures as well as on its own, platelet-rich plasma therapy is a breakthrough treatment that amplifies the body’s own healing cascade to speed tissue regeneration and repair. Dr. Ibrahim’s case study is another example of the possibilities of using PRP to address difficult osteopathic conditions. At the Orthohealing Center we provide similar same day treatments with PRP and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) for challenging joints and tendon injuries.