Benefits of New Platelet Sealent Reported in Total Knee ReplacementsScientists are investigating the use of a new platelet sealant to speed up healing after surgery. In this study, the use of platelet-rich plasma to seal the wound after total knee replacement is reported.
Platelet-rich plasma came from the patient's own blood. A special machine was used to spin the blood until there was a layer of plasma with platelets. This fluid was sprayed onto the cut bone and surrounding soft tissues.
There are many unknowns about this new treatment. Effect on healing, range of motion, and length of hospital stay are measured in 71 patients. The results are compared to 66 patients in the control group.
Patients receiving the platelet-rich plasma left the hospital sooner. They also had greater knee range of motion during the first six weeks after surgery. Fewer blood transfusions were needed in the platelet group. They also used less pain medication. Despite these reported benefits, statistical analysis didn't show a big difference in pain levels or drug use between the treated and control groups.
The authors conclude this study shows the short-term benefits of using platelet-rich plasma to enhance the body's natural healing process. This treatment has been reported after dental surgery, cosmetic and plastic surgery, and spinal fusion. This study supports its use after total knee replacement as well.
Since healing and wound remodeling continue for months and even years after surgery, long-term studies are needed.
William J. Berghoff, MD, et al. Platelet-Rich Plasma Application During Closure Following Total Knee Arthroplasty. In Orthopedics. July 2006. Vol. 29. No. 7. Pp. 590-598.
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