ORLANDO — Platelet-rich plasma injection showed a significant reduction in pain and improved function at early follow-up in patients with patellar tendinopathy, according to a recently presented study.
“We found that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) leads to clinically and statistically significant improvement in symptoms, pain, stability and function in patellar tendinopathy at 12 weeks,” Amy S. Wasterlain, BA, said during her presentation at the Arthroscopy Association of North America 2012 Annual Meeting. “Importantly, we also showed that PRP is both clinically and statistically significantly better than dry needling based on the Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment score of patella tendinopathy symptoms.”
Wasterlain and her colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial of 17 patients with patellar tendinopathy. One group underwent dry needling with eccentric exercises and the other had dry needling with ultrasound-guided PRP injection and eccentric exercises. There were found no significant differences between the groups regarding demographics. The investigators followed patients at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks and 12 weeks. Outome measures included Tegner, Lysholm, Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment (VISA) and SF-12.
The PRP group improved 29 points on the VISA, which was 23 points more than the dry needling group demonstrating a clinically and statistically significant difference. The PRP group also should clinical and statistically significant improvements on the VAS scale. Although the Lysholm score improved by 29 points in the PRP group and 27 points in the dry needling group, Wasterlain noted that the difference was not statistically significant.
The Tegner activity scale improved 1.6 points in the PRP group, which was more than the dry needling group.
“These were clinically significant because the improvements were greater than one point, but these were not statistically significant,” Wasterlain said.
The researchers found a statistically significant improvement in the PRP group for the SF-12, but discovered no statistically significance differences between the groups for this measure.
- Wasterlain AS, Dragoo JL, Braun HJ. Platelet-rich plasma as a treatment for patellar tendinopathy: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Paper #60. Presented at the Arthroscopy Association of North America 2012 Annual Meeting. May 16-19. Orlando, Fla.
- Disclosure: Wasterlain has no relevant financial disclosures.