Platelet Rich Plasma continues to gain in popularity for the treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Currently, the clinical application of PRP significantly outpaces the amount of research backing its’ utilization in patients. Explaining in part why this treatment is often not covered by insurance companies for the treatment of these conditions.
Patients in our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics often ask if PRP is helpful for their currents symptoms. While some conditions such as osteoarthritis show promise with PRP treatments others such as tendons have had mixed results. A recent study asked if PRP injections were effective for knee tendon pain, patellar tendinopathy.
Scott and colleagues published their findings on the effects of PRP on patients patellar tendinopathy in the American Journal of Sports Medicine (2019). Authors randomized close to 60 patients with patellar tendinopathy to one of three treatment groups. 1. leukocyte rich PRP 2. leukocyte poor PRP or 3. placebo saline injection. Interestingly, authors found no differences between the groups on pain, disability, or perceived improvement at either 12 weeks or 12 months post injection.
Due to the lack of benefit greater than placebo patients are advised to seek the guidance of a local Physical Therapist to help determine the cause of the tendon pain and start a loading program designed to heal the injured tendon.