Biologics Benefits for Seniors
Biologics are medical techniques that use a person’s own body cells and blood to effect a cure on damaged parts of one’s own body. This is a boon for people of all ages, but for seniors it has even more benefits.
No problems with Rejection
First of all, the body will never reject these injections, since they are composed from the person’s own body unlike something synthetic.
There are practically no side-effects from PRP treatment, which is a low-risk treatment.
No Allergic Reactions
There is no risk of allergic reaction because no one is allergic to themselves.
Safer than Surgery
Many of these innovative techniques can replace surgical operations, which are always a risk for seniors. For instance, using a person’s own blood plasma to heal knee joints in a senior with osteoarthritis is far safer than undergoing a total knee replacement surgery (TKR).
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
One of the most successful and unique biologic treatment applications that has been around for more than 20 years, since it was first used in plastic surgery, is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Platelets are the blood cells necessary for proper clotting of blood and together with the rich liquid part of plasma, can be used to heal joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles by using a patient’s own blood plasma. Unlike blood which is red, blood plasma is a pale yellow color and contains a more concentrated number of platelets (two to eight times more) than would be found in the patient’s regular blood. PRP speeds up healing, especially as the patient’s body will not try to reject it. Animal studies show that PRP can work in both soft tissue and bone.
Successful in Treating Collagen Deterioration
PRP injections have shown particular success in improving pain and conditions where collagen has deteriorated like in tendonosis of the ankles, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees and tennis elbows.
PRP Promising Treatment for Osteoarthritis
Studies show that PRP has the potential to be highly successful in treating osteoarthritis, especially knee arthritis. PRP at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York showed that not only did PRP improve mobility and lessen pain in patients with knee arthritis, but the PRP treatments actually retarded the progression of osteoarthritis in 73% of the patients.
One or a few vials of a patient’s own blood is taken under strictly sterile conditions and then the blood is put in a container where it is centrifuged (spun around at high speed) which separates the blood into its various parts. After it is ready, the concentrated plasma is injected directly into the painful and damaged tissue or joint with the use of ultrasound to guide the doctor to the exact place where it is needed.
Recovery from PRP
Except for needing to rest a bit after the procedure, there is nothing else that has to be done unlike the recovery from surgery. The patient then begins a rehabilitation regimen of stretching and strengthening physical exercises. After two to five weeks the patient will begin to notice significant improvement, although some patients claim to feel better even before the two weeks are up.
Biologics including Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment from the patient’s own blood can be especially good for seniors, as they are safer than surgery and low-risk for complications and side effects.