INTRODUCTION: In our practice Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections effectively reduce pain in most but not all arthritic patients. However, for patients who fail PRP treatment, no good alternative currently exists except total joint replacement surgery. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) on the surface of the skin has not been helpful for arthritis patients in our experience. However, we hypothesized that intra-articular laser treatment would be an effective augmentation to PRP injection and would increase its efficacy in patients who had failed prior PRP injection alone.
METHODS: We offered Intra-articular Low Level Laser Therapy (IAL) treatment in conjunction with repeat PRP injection to patients who had received no benefit from PRP injection alone at our center. They were the treatment group. They were not charged for PRP or IAL. They also served as a historical control group since they had all had failed PRP treatment alone. 28 patients (30 joints) accepted treatment after informed consent. 22 knees, 4 hips, 2 shoulder glenohumeral joints and 1 first carpo-metacarpal (1st CMC) joint were treated
RESULTS: All patients were followed up at 1 month and no adverse events were seen from the treatment. At 6 months post treatment 46% of patients had good outcomes, and at 1 year 17% still showed improvement after treatment. 11 patients failed treatment and went on to joint replacement. DISCUSSION: A single treatment of IAL with PRP salvaged 46% of patients who had failed PRP treatment alone, allowing avoidance of surgery and good pain control.
Chadwick C. Prodromos, Susan Finkle, Alexander Dawes, and Angelo Dizon, "Intra-articular laser treatment plus Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) significantly reduces pain in many patients who had failed prior PRP treatment," Proc. SPIE 10477, Mechanisms of Photobiomodulation Therapy XIII, 104770M (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 8 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2287940.
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