Study: Platelet-rich plasma not effective for treatment of Achilles tendinosis
SAN DIEGO – Platelet-rich plasma does not improve chronic non-insertional Achilles tendinosis, according to a researcher who presented at the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Annual Meeting, here.
“Achilles tendionsis is a common condition and non-insertional is typically presented with painful swelling,” Gerard Bourke, MD, said.
Bourke and his colleagues conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial of 48 patients categorized into four groups: a group injected with a placebo into skin and tendon, a group injected with saline into the skin and tendon, a group injected with buffy coat blood platelets into skin and tendon and a group injected with whole blood into skin and tendon.
Patients and physicians were blinded to which injection patients would undergo. The researchers performed ultrasound-guided examinations of tendons and calculated Victorian Institute of Assessment of Sports Activity-Achilles (VISA-A) scores at injection time and at a 12-week follow-up. Radiologists assessed patients for alternate pathologies, such as partial tears or insertional tendinopathy.
The researchers found no improvement in the whole blood or platelets group compared to the placebo and saline groups.
“This was also found when the VISA-A score was disaggregated to the pain and function questions and analyzed separately,” the authors wrote in their study abstract.
“This study demonstrates no benefit of platelet-rich plasma for treatment of non-insertional Achilles tendinosis,” Bourke said.
Bourke G. A prospective, randomized, controlled trial to assess the efficacy of whole blood or platelets in the treatment of chronic Achilles tendinosis. Presented at the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society 2012 Annual Meeting. June 21-23. San Diego.
Disclosure: Bourke receives royalties from Arthrex and research support from Endotech.