May 01, 2014
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Benefits in pain relief, function seen with consecutive PRP injections for chronic patellar tendinopathy

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During a 2-year follow-up, French researchers discovered multiple ultrasound-guided platelet-rich plasma injections into the tendinopathy site significantly improved function and pain scores in professional and semi-professional athletes with chronic patellar tendinopathy.

Researchers studied 28 athletes with chronic patellar tendinopathy (PT) that returned after nonoperative management. For the study, the athletes had three consecutive injections of ultrasound-guided, pure platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with a 1 week between injections. Before surgery and after return to practice sports, all patients were assessed with the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment Patella (VISA-P) score, Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores for pain and the Lysholm knee scale. The researchers also assessed tendon healing with MRI at 1 month and 3 months following the procedure.

According to the study abstract, investigators found a significant improvement in VISA-P, VAS and Lysholm scores at 2-year follow-up. The average pre-procedure VISA-P score improved from 39 points to 94 points, while VAS scores improved from 7 points to 0.8 points and Lysholm scores rose from 60 points to 96 points. Three months after the procedure, 21 of the 28 athletes returned to their pre-symptom sporting level. According to study results, researchers found improved structural integrity of the tendon through follow-up MRI 3 months after the procedure, as well as complete return to normal structural integrity of the tendon in 57% of patients. Overall, seven patients did not return their pre-symptom sporting levels.

Disclosure: The researchers have no relevant financial disclosures.