PRP vs. Cortisone for Knee Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients

PRP vs. Cortisone for Knee Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients

London Cartilage Clinic

Written By London Cartilage Clinic

At London Cartilage Clinic, we are committed to offering our patients the latest advancements in treatment options for knee pathologies, including osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions. Two popular non-surgical treatments that have shown effectiveness in managing knee pain and improving function are Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections and cortisone (steroid) injections. This article is designed to provide you with a clear understanding of both treatments, helping you make an informed decision about which might be the best option for your knee issues.

Understanding Knee Pathologies

Knee pathologies such as osteoarthritis involve the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling. These conditions can significantly impact your daily life, limiting mobility and affecting overall quality of life. Effective management of knee pathologies focuses on reducing symptoms, improving joint function, and slowing down the progression of the disease.

What are PRP Injections?

PRP injections involve the use of a patient’s own blood components to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. The process involves drawing a small amount of the patient’s blood, centrifuging it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting this platelet-rich plasma into the affected knee. The growth factors in the platelets stimulate natural healing processes, potentially repairing damaged tissue and reducing inflammation.

What are Cortisone Injections?

Cortisone injections are a type of steroid injection that can provide rapid relief from inflammation and pain in the knee joint. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication that, when injected directly into the affected area, can alleviate symptoms of arthritis and other knee conditions. These injections are known for their quick action and can be a part of a broader treatment plan.

PRP vs. Cortisone: When to Use Each?

PRP Injections are best suited for patients who:

  • Are seeking a treatment option focused on healing and long-term improvement
  • Have mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis or soft tissue injuries
  • Prefer a natural approach using their body’s own healing mechanisms
  • Have not responded well to conventional treatments like physical therapy or NSAIDs

Cortisone Injections are ideal for patients who:

  • Need immediate relief from severe knee pain and inflammation
  • Have acute flare-ups of osteoarthritis or other inflammatory knee conditions
  • May not be candidates for PRP due to health reasons or personal preference
  • Are looking for a short-term solution while considering other long-term treatments

Benefits and Drawbacks


PRP Injections:

  • Benefits: Can stimulate healing and tissue regeneration, longer-term relief, minimal risk of allergic reactions as it uses the patient’s own blood.
  • Drawbacks: May require multiple injections over time, slower onset of symptom relief, higher upfront cost, not always covered by insurance.

Cortisone Injections:

  • Benefits: Quick reduction of pain and inflammation, can be repeated if needed, covered by most insurance plans.
  • Drawbacks: Potential weakening of joint structures with repeated use, temporary relief that doesn’t address the underlying cause, risk of infection.

FAQs on PRP and Cortisone for Knee Treatment

The effects of PRP can last up to a year or more, while cortisone typically provides relief for several months.

Both treatments have minimal side effects; however, cortisone may lead to joint degradation with repeated use, while PRP’s risks are primarily related to the injection process itself.

Cortisone may provide relief within a few days, while PRP might take several weeks to show improvement as the body’s healing process unfolds.

Neither treatment is a cure for knee pathologies, but both can significantly reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

A consultation with  London Cartilage Clinic’s specialist will help determine the best treatment option based on your specific condition, lifestyle, and treatment goals.

Personalised Care

At London Cartilage Clinic, we pride ourselves on offering personalised care tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Whether PRP or cortisone injections offer the best approach for your knee issues, our team is dedicated to providing you with the highest standard of care, ensuring you can return to your daily activities with improved comfort and mobility. If you’re exploring your options for knee treatment, contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve your health and mobility goals.

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