Saturday, February 11, 2012

Platelet Rich Plasma Effective in the Treatment Elbow Ligament Injuries

Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries of the elbow occur most commonly in throwing athletes such as baseball players.  There is no perfect answer for patients who partially tear the ligament.  Full thickness tears are typically repaired via so called "Tommy John Surgery".  At the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery Meeting this week, data was presented suggesting platelet rich plasma has value in the treatment of partial UCL tears.

Dr. Scott Crow of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles studied the use of PRP for elbow ligament injuries.  Here is part of his report:

"The researchers followed 17 athletes with a partial UCL tear. All patients had failed conservative treatment, including rest and physical therapy. Baseline questionnaires, including the Kerlan-Jobe Shoulder and Elbow Score (KJOC Score) and Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Score (DASH Score) were completed for each patient prior to the PRP injection. Each patient underwent a single PRP injection at the ulnar collateral ligament under ultrasound guidance.
At an average follow-up of 18 weeks (range 12-46 weeks), 16 of 17 athletes had returned to play. The average time to return to play was 10 weeks (range 8-12 weeks). The average KJOC Score improved from 47 to 93, p=.0001. The average DASH Score improved from 24 to 3, p=.003. The Sports Module of the DASH questionnaire improved from 74 to 6, p=.0001.
"There is little information in the literature regarding non-surgical treatment of UCL tears. Our results show that PRP may be an option to return players to the field without having to place them under the knife," said Crow."
This represents the first presented data on the topic of using platelet rich plasma for elbow ligament injuries.  The data supports further investigation and design of randomized trials to confirm these findings.

1 comment:

jeremy said...

It would take effect for a while. But it's worth taking it.
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