No Evidence to Support Use of Stem Cells for Tendon Injuries
The use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell injections continue to rise and outpace the medical research supporting their use. Often these expensive injections are not covered by medical insurance due in part to their unproven effectiveness in human trials against placebo or control/natural history groups.
A recent review article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined the available literature on the utilization of stem cell therapy injections (Pas et al. 2017). The authors reviewed the applicable trials on tendon injuries, including tendinopathy, tendinitis, and tendinosis, across multiple body regions. The authors examined the available articles and found no evidence to support the use of stem cell injections on tendon conditions and concluded stem cell injections is not advised for clinical practice.
Patients are encouraged to utilize their local Physical Therapist to implement more evidence based interventions including exercise therapy to assist in their recovery from tendon symptoms.