Does PRP Work?

Many healthcare providers have been treating patients for years using PRP (platelet rich plasma) with very good results. However, many still question whether injecting platelets into an injured body part really works. The last several years have provided numerous high quality studies that show the effectiveness of PRP, and we are now seeing some very encouraging results in the current literature. We have compiled a list (below) of some of the most up to date studies related to PRP broken down by body part.

 

Knee PRP studies

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Advanced Knee Osteoarthritis: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blinded Clinical Trial

Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine 2017

Nayana Joshi Jubert , MD, PhD, Luciano Rodríguez , PhD, Maria Mercedes Reverté-Vinaixa, MD, PhD, and Aurora Navarro, MD

Conclusion:

A single PRP intra-articular injection is effective for relieving pain and improving activities of daily living and quality of life in late-stage knee OA. For patients with late-stage knee OA who are 67 years or older, 1 intra-articular injection of PRP has similar results to 1 shot of corticosteroid.

Efficacy of Intra-articular Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review

Arthroscopy 2016

Meheux CJ, McCulloch PC, Lintner DM, Varner KE, Harris JD

Conclusion:

In patients with symptomatic knee OA, PRP injection results in significant clinical improvements up to 12 months post injection. Clinical outcomes and WOMAC scores are significantly better after PRP versus HA at 3 to 12 months post injection. There is limited evidence for comparing leukocyte-rich versus leukocyte-poor PRP or PRP versus steroids in this study.

Intra-articular injections of platelet-rich plasma, hyaluronic acid or corticosteroids for knee osteoarthritis : A prospective randomized controlled study

Orthopade 2019

Huang Y, Liu X, Xu X, Liu J

Conclusion:

Intra-articular PRP injections into the knee for symptomatic early stages of KOA are a valid treatment option. The clinical efficacy of IA-PRP is comparable to that of the IA-HA and IA-CS forms after 3 months and the long-term efficacy of IA PRP is superior to IA-HA and IA-CS.

 

Hip PRP study

The Effectiveness of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections in Gluteal Tendinopathy: A Randomized, Double-Blind Controlled Trial Comparing a Single Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection With a Single Corticosteroid Injection

The American Journal of Sports Medicine 2018

Fitzpatrick J, Bulsara MK, O’Donnell J, McCrory PR, Zheng MH.

Conclusion:

Patients with chronic gluteal tendinopathy, length of symptoms >15 months, a single intra-tendinous LR-PRP injection performed under ultrasound guidance, results in a greater improvement in pain and function than a corticosteroid injection. This is sustained at 2 years whereas CSI is maximal at 6 weeks and returns to baseline by 2 years.

 

Elbow and Knee

Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine 2018 Current Clinical Recommendations for Use of Platelet-Rich Plasma

Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine 2018

Le, Enweze, DeBaun, Dragoo

Purpose of review:

This review evaluates current clinical literature on the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), including leukocyte-rich PRP (LR-PRP) and leukocyte-poor PRP (LP-PRP), in order to develop evidence-based recommendations for various musculoskeletal indications.

Recent Findings

Abundant high-quality evidence supports the use of LR-PRP injection for lateral epicondylitis and LP-PRP for osteoarthritis of the knee.

 

Elbow 

Platelet rich plasma injections for lateral epicondylitis of the elbow reduce the need for surgical intervention

Journal of Orthopedics 2018

Hastie, Soufi, Wilson, Roy

Conclusion:

We consider PRP injection, for intractable lateral epicondylitis of the elbow, not only a safe but also very effective tool in reducing symptoms and have shown it reduced the need for surgical intervention in this difficult cohort of patients.

The effectiveness of Platelet-Rich plasma in the Treatment of Tedinopathy: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled Clinical Trials

American Journal of Sports Medicine 2017

Fitzpatrick, Bulsara, Zheng

Conclusion:

There is good evidence to support the use of a single injection of LR-PRP under ultrasound guidance in tendinopathy. Both the preparation and intratendinous injection technique of PRP appear to be of great clinical significance.

 

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