Insertion of platelet-rich plasma gel to patellar tendon harvest sites improved healing and reduced postoperative pain in patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in a recent study.
Researchers randomly assigned 27 participants to two groups: those who received platelet-rich plasma (PRP) (n=12) and controls who did not receive PRP (n=15) in patellar tendon graft sites used for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Healing in the patellar tendon gap area was assessed by MRI after 6 months, and questionnaires and isokinetic testing of ACL reconstruction were completed and compared between both groups.
At 6 months postsurgery, investigators observed that the patellar tendon gap area was significantly smaller in the PRP group (4.9 ± 5.3mm²; 95% CI, 1.1-8.8) compared with the control group (9.4 ± 4.4mm²; 95% CI, 6.6-12.2). They also noted no difference between the groups when assessing tendon thickness and length, and there were no adverse effects reported.
Visual analog score for pain also was lower in the PRP group directly after surgery (3.8 ± 1.0; 95% CI, 3.18-4.49) than in controls (5.1 ± 1.4; 95% CI, 4.24-5.9). No statistically significant differences were found between the groups after 6 months in either the questionnaires or isokinetic testing.
“PRP had a positive effect on patellar tendon harvest site healing on MRI after 6 months,” the researchers concluded. “Platelet-rich plasma also reduced pain in the immediate postoperative period.”