Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dramatic Rise in Platelet Rich Plasma References

Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of PubMed and Google references about platelet-rich plasma.  This represents worldwide interest in this point-of-care biologic treatment for a variety of research and clinical applications.

Patients are already seeing the benefits of this research and new breakthroughs will come from expected and unexpected sources.


Thursday, July 04, 2013

Platelet Rich Plasma Significantly Improves Outcomes for Tennis Elbow in a 230 Patient Study

The American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM) has just published the largest study evaluating platelet-rich plasma.  The 230 patient study was conducted over the course of more than five years and represents the work of dozens of clinicians and researchers.  Overall, it is clear from the data that the use of PRP to treat chronic tennis elbow results in significant reductions in pain and elbow tenderness compared to an active control of needling of the elbow without PRP.  It is also safe and cost effective compared to cortisone and surgery.  This type of study is time consuming and expensive but will help guide patient and physicians decisions about how to best treat chronic tennis elbow.

Here is a lay press article on the article from Healio.

Read the full AJSM Abstract below.

Total Tendon

Platelet-Rich Plasma Significantly Improves Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Tennis Elbow
A Double-Blind, Prospective, Multicenter, Controlled Trial of 230 Patients
  1. Arthur C. Rettig, MD‡‡

  1. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Menlo Medical Clinic, Stanford University Medical Center, Menlo Park, California
  2. Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, Tucson, Arizona
  3. §Division of Hand and Elbow Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia
  4. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  5. The Orthohealing Center and The Orthobiologic Institute, Los Angeles, California
  6. #Orthopaedic Research Clinic, Anchorage, Alaska
  7. **Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. ††The Steadman Clinic, Vail, Colorado
  9. ‡‡Methodist Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
  10. Investigation performed at Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Menlo Medical Clinic, Stanford University Medical Center, Menlo Park, California
  1. *Allan K. Mishra, MD, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Menlo Medical Clinic, Stanford University Medical Center, 1300 Crane Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (e-mail:


Background: Elbow tenderness and pain with resisted wrist extension are common manifestations of lateral epicondylar tendinopathy, also known as tennis elbow. Previous studies have suggested platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to be a safe and effective therapy for tennis elbow.
Purpose: To evaluate the clinical value of tendon needling with PRP in patients with chronic tennis elbow compared with an active control group.
Study Design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.
Methods: A total of 230 patients with chronic lateral epicondylar tendinopathy were treated at 12 centers over 5 years. All patients had at least 3 months of symptoms and had failed conventional therapy. There were no differences in patients randomized to receive PRP (n = 116) or active controls (n = 114). The PRP was prepared from venous whole blood at the point of care and contained both concentrated platelets and leukocytes. After receiving a local anesthetic, all patients had their extensor tendons needled with or without PRP. Patients and investigators remained blinded to the treatment group throughout the study.
Results: Patient outcomes were followed for up to 24 weeks. At 12 weeks (n = 192), the PRP-treated patients reported an improvement of 55.1% in their pain scores compared with 47.4% in the active control group (P = .094). At 24 weeks (n = 119), the PRP-treated patients reported an improvement of 71.5% in their pain scores compared with 56.1% in the control group (P = .027). The percentage of patients reporting significant elbow tenderness at 12 weeks was 37.4% in the PRP group versus 48.4% in the control group (P = .036). At 24 weeks, 29.1% of the PRP-treated patients reported significant elbow tenderness versus 54.0% in the control group (P < .001). Success rates for patients with 24 weeks of follow-up were 83.9% in the PRP group compared with 68.3% in the control group (P= .012). No significant complications occurred in either group.
Conclusion: Treatment of chronic tennis elbow with leukocyte-enriched PRP is safe and results in clinically meaningful improvements compared with an active control group.

The Biomet Biologics GPS device was used to prepare the PRP for this study.
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