July 10, 2013
1 min read

Platelet-rich plasma significantly improved tennis elbow symptoms

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Leukocyte-enriched platelet-rich plasma effectively and safely treated patients with lateral epicondylar tendinopathy in a recent study.

In a randomized control trial, Allan K. Mishra, MD, of the orthopedic surgery department, Menlo Medical Clinical, Stanford University Medical Center, and colleagues studied 230 patients with chronic lateral epicondylar tendinopathy (tennis elbow) who were treated over 5 years at 12 centers. The patients, symptomatic for at least 3 months and unresponsive to conventional therapy, were divided into two groups: platelet-rich plasma recipients (PRP; n=116) or active controls (n=114). Venous whole blood at initiation was used to prepare the PRP that contained concentrated platelets and leukocytes.

Patients and investigators were masked throughout the study; patients had their extensor tendons needled with or without PRP after receiving local anesthetic. Patients were followed for up to 24 weeks.


Allan K. Mishra

PRP-treated patients reported a 55.1% improvement in pain scores compared with 47.4% of active controls at 12 weeks (n=192 patients; P=.094). At 24 weeks, PRP patients reported 71.5% improvement in pain scores compared with 56.1% of controls (n=119 patients; P=.027).There were 37.4% of PRP-treated patients vs. 48.4% of the control group reporting significant elbow tenderness at 12 weeks (P=.036), At 24 weeks, elbow tenderness decreased to 29.1% of PRP-treated patients, while discomfort increased to 54% among controls (P<.001).

PRP patients had 83.9% success rates at 24 weeks of follow-up compared with 68.3% for controls (P=.012). Neither group reported significant complications.

“Treatment of chronic tennis elbow with leukocyte-enriched PRP is safe and results in clinically meaningful improvements compared with an active control group,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of relevant disclosures.