December 10, 2013
1 min read

Researchers identify evidence-based uses of platelet-rich plasma in orthopedic surgery

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Researchers of a study which outlined the evidence-based uses of platelet-rich plasma found that the therapy is efficacious in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis, but other indications require additional research.

“While evidence suggests that that [platelet-rich plasma] PRP improves tissue healing, we also found that success varies depending on the preparation method and composition of the PRP, medical condition, location on the body and tissue type,” Wellington Hsu, MD, spine surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, stated in a press release.

According to the release, Hsu and colleagues found PRP was effective at treating ankle arthritis and lateral epicondylitis, and had some healing properties when used during ACL reconstruction. However, they concluded that more evidence was needed when PRP was used in knee osteoarthritis cases, Achilles tendon repair, rotator cuff repair and other chronic tendinopathies. Further, they said PRP should not be used during spinal fusion or bone grafting procedures.

“We are hopeful that our findings can serve as a roadmap on how and when PRP is appropriate in orthopedic care,” Michael Terry, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Northwest Memorial Hospital, stated in a release. “Now that we have a better understanding of when this therapy is effective, we can tailor it to other applications. For example, if we know evidence supports PRP use for arthritic ankles and knees, it makes sense to start looking at it for osteoarthritis of the hip.”


Hsu WK. J Acad Ortho Surg. 2013;doi:10.5435/JAAOS-21-12-739.

Disclosure: The authors report various financial disclosures. See the full study for a complete list of disclosures.