Combining PRP with Growth Hormone for Osteoarthritis Treatment

Combining PRP with Growth Hormone for Osteoarthritis Treatment
December 05 06:11 2017 Print This Article

 

Researchers at the Iran University of Medical Sciences were fully aware of the plethora of studies showing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy as an effective treatment for osteoarthritis when they began their own study looking at combining PRP with intra-articular growth hormone. The results of their research, published by the Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine journal in 2016, suggests that there is another way to use PRP therapy to help people with arthritis live better lives.

The researchers looked at 54 patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the knee. Their comparative, double-blind clinical trial divided the patients into two groups. The one group would receive straight PRP injections while the other would receive a combination of PRP and somatropin – a.k.a. human growth hormone. The patients were then followed for two months at the conclusion of their treatments.

  • What the Research Showed

Each of the 54 patients was evaluated prior to the start of treatment using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WMOC) scale. The WMOC scale measures five factors for pain, two for stiffness, and 17 for functionality. Each of the factors is given a score. Any improvement in the WMOC score would indicate that the treatments received by the 54 patients were successful.

The researchers observed a significant improvement in the WMOC scale for both groups of patients in the first month following treatment. However, improvement for the group receiving human growth hormone in addition to PRP was remarkably better. After the second month, both groups demonstrated equal improvement. There were no complications observed in either group.

Researchers concluded that utilizing human growth hormone in concert with PRP therapy can reduce pain and improve function for short periods of time. Over the long term though, it does not appear as though the addition of human growth hormone makes PRP therapy any better.

  • What It Means Practically

This study offers limited conclusions for doctors who use PRP therapy as an osteoarthritis treatment. Practically speaking, it would be safe for them to assume that patients experiencing unusually severe pain with their osteoarthritis might benefit in the short term from treatments involving both PRP and growth hormone. They may not necessarily benefit any more over the long term. This might be due to straight PRP ‘catching up’.

There is a more important conclusion to be drawn from this study, though. Research proves, yet again, that osteoarthritis patients receiving PRP injections are enjoying the benefits of less pain, more function, and less stiffness. The number of studies showing similar results continues to grow as more researchers give a serious look at regenerative medicine.

  • A Course of Action for Doctors

Studies like the one carried out at the Iran University of Medical Sciences should be motivation to doctors looking to give their patients an alternative to knee surgery or long-term use of pain medication. PRP therapy has proven successful for scores of patients hoping to find a way to alleviate arthritis pain and improve function.

Any doctor interested in PRP therapy need only undergo training to learn how to utilize it. Training is available through Utah-based Apex Biologix as well as other companies throughout the country. Doctors attend a weekend training course before returning home and introducing the therapy to their own practices.

Future research may uncover other ways to use somatropin to improve the efficacy of PRP therapy for osteoarthritis. In the meantime, though, doctors can use PRP therapy without growth hormones to treat patients. For those who benefit, it could mean improved function and less pain without the need for surgery or pain medications.

 

  Categories:
view more articles

About Article Author

Derrick Lopez
Derrick Lopez

View More Articles