PRP Knee Treatment Cost 2023

PRP or Platelet-rich plasma, is a substance that’s thought to promote healing when injected. Plasma is a component of your blood that contains special “factors,” or proteins, that help your blood to clot. It also contains proteins that support cell growth. Researchers have produced PRP by isolating plasma from blood and concentrating it.

The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues will stimulate your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing. Because the tissue growth factors are more concentrated in the prepared growth injections, researchers think the body’s tissues may heal faster. Famous athletes like Tiger Woods and tennis star Rafael Nadal have been known to use these injections to help heal injuries.

Is PRP an Effective Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis?

As of October 2022, more than 100 studies had been launched to investigate the benefits of PRP (platelet rich plasma) and knee osteoarthritis. You can review the status of these trials on

Doctors have injected PRP into the knees of people with osteoarthritis. A 2019 review study assessing PRP’s efficacy was published in Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Studies eligible for inclusion were randomized trials published in English that compared platelet-rich therapy to a control, assessing patients aged ≥ 18 years with musculoskeletal bone, cartilage, or soft tissue injuries.

The final analysis included 78 randomized controlled trials with a total of 5,308 patients. The review concluded that at three months, PRP treatment was associated with reduced pain, which was also observed at one year.

Another smaller review in 2017 looked at 14 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1,423 participants. Results suggested that PRP may help manage pain associated with knee OA.

The authors noted the following at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-ups:
  • Pain levels: Compared with placebos, PRP injections significantly reduced pain scores at each follow-up appointment.
  • Physical function: Compared with controls, PRP significantly improved physical function at these follow ups.
  • Adverse effects: Some people experienced adverse effects, but these were no more significant than those produced by other types of injection.

PRP Knee Treatment Cost

The Washington Post reports that knee injections of PRP can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200 per treatment.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, very few insurance plans will provide any reimbursement for PRP injections. The costs must largely be paid out-of-pocket. The costs can also vary from location to location and on how the injections are used. 

Insurance companies consider PRP an experimental treatment. More scientific research will have to conclude its effectiveness before it is more widely covered.

Some PRP treatments for knee are also done in combination with add on hyaluronic acid injection.

Hyaluronic acid injection serves to supplement your own hyaluronic acid and keep the bones from scraping against each other. It may also help decrease inflammation and ease pain.

The following medications are types of hyaluronic acid injections:
  • sodium hyaluronate (Euflexxa, Hyalgan, Supartz)
  • high-molecular-weight hyaluronan (Monovisc, Orthovisc)
  • hylan G-F 20 (Synvisc, Synvisc One)
  • cross-liked hyaluronate (Gel-One)

Stages of Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Knee

Osteoarthritis (OA) is divided into five stages.
  • Stage 0 is assigned to a normal, healthy knee. 
  • Stage 1: Minor
  • Stage 2: Mild
  • Stage 3: Moderate
  • Stage 4, is assigned to severe OA. OA that has become this advanced is likely to cause significant pain and disrupt joint movement and function.

PRP vs. Stem Cells

First, think of platelets and PRP like espresso shots for local repair cells that help them work harder. Next, think of stem cells as a general contractor for the repair response. Why use PRP five times as often as stem cells? 

According to Regenexx:

PRP works great for things like mild arthritis, small tears in ligaments and tendons, or in the spine. 

In the spine, we use three different types of platelet or plasma mixes. PRP is platelet-rich plasma: this is concentrated platelets from your blood. We tend to use this in spinal joints, like facets. Platelet lysate is made by breaking open the platelets and extracting out the growth factors. We use this around nerves because we find that it’s highly anti-inflammatory. Finally, platelet-poor plasma is the plasma without the platelets. We tend to use this in atrophied spinal muscles.

An honest doctor always puts his or her patient’s well-being over his own income. Meaning, you choose the best therapies for your patient that are the lowest cost and least invasive. Platelets work well in many instances and cost anywhere from one-quarter to one-half as much as a stem cell treatment. So in the PRP versus stem cell equation, why not use platelets if we can get the same result for less money and through only a simple blood draw?

Where stem cells really shine over platelets is in a few conditions:
  • Torn and painful low back discs
  • Bulging discs that can’t be treated by platelets alone
  • Severe arthritis
  • Larger tendon and ligament tears

Key Takeaway

A wide range of treatments, from OTC (over the counter) medications to knee replacement surgery, are available to help relieve knee pain caused by OsteoArthritis.

There is no one size fits all treatment. There are many options available. On one side of the spectrum are non-invasive strategies such as losing weight and appropriate physical therapy to strengthen your muscles and to have proper walking, standing and sitting habits. In the middle you will have less invasive strategies such as injectables i.e. PRP, steroids, stem cells etc. On the other end of the spectrum are invasive surgical treatments such as bone realignment surgery and total knee replacement (TKR).

PRP might be suitable for stage 1 and 2 knee osteoarthritis and stem cells for stage 2 and 3. Stem cell therapy might not work for Stage 4 knee osteoarthritis.

Discuss with your doctor and choose the least invasive method to begin with.

Categories: PRPKnee Osteoarthritis


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