Mr. Lin lives in Tainan, Taiwan. He is over 80 years old but he’s still hale and hearty. He usually goes out and goes mountain hiking, but since last year, he felt his right knee stuck and pain which made him can barely walk. He had tried steroid injections and taking the painkiller but were both in vain. He went to doctors again; the doctor suggested ‘Peripheral blood Cell Purification’ therapy (PCP). After 3 months, Mr. Lin said goodbye to the knee pain and could continue his favorite outdoor activities again.
The Director of the neurosurgery department Dr. Lin, Chih-Lung says that the patient has a habit of mountain hiking and dancing. But since last year, the patient started feeling his knee pain, feeling stiffness while walking, and he couldn’t even stretch his knee to step on the floor. Eventually, he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The patient had tried several treatments like medication, steroids, and hyaluronate injections but all in vain. While the patient Mr. Lin is too old to go through surgery, which makes him very upset.
Dr. Lin indicates that osteoarthritis patients will usually do physical therapy, medication, or injections like steroids, hyaluronate, or PRP; and for those who are in the end stage of osteoarthritis, artificial joint replacement is the end option. But there are several seniors like Mr. Lin, who is too old to go through surgery. Thus, the doctor suggested Mr. Lin try on this new PCP treatment, and he could go home directly after the injection.
Dr. Lin explained, this new ‘PCP therapy’ is by drawing your blood, going through 2.5 hours of cell culture and purification process, then extracting the ‘enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cell’ product, and lastly, injecting this product into the inflammatory part. Comparing this new PCP therapy with the traditional ways of centrifuging autologous blood, PCP is of better curative effect. With the effect of antiinflammatory, the autologous mononuclear cells in PCP could also promote cartilage differentiation and produce type 2 collagen, which could repair the damaged joint cavity more efficiently.
Dr. Lin says, PCP is autologous blood, which could avoid allergies, takes little time to treat, and most important of all, it reduces pain effectively. Patients can recover from the pain and return to their daily life in the short term. Patient Mr. Lin feels his knee swelling but the pain reduced three days after the first injection, and about three months after, his knee almost recovered; he could walk freely and goes out mountain hiking again.
He also reminds us that, to prevent osteoarthritis, we should start by lessening the overburden of knees, which includes weight control, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle or too much standing. When going mountain hiking or carrying a heavy load, people should protect their knees by using a crutch or kneecap, and we should also exercise regularly to train our muscles. Once the sports injury strikes, we must apply ice packing or hot compress, and take good rest; arrange physical therapy to avoid the situation turning bad.