Study supports safety, effectiveness of PRP injections

July 16, 2012

Topic: PRP injections

PRP injections may be safe for cartilage tears.

New research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting demonstrated platelet rich plasma injections (PRP injections) are safe and effective for the treatment of cartilage tears in athletes.

Clinicians prepare PRP injections by drawing blood from a patient and isolating the platelets, which are cells that promote blood clotting and injury repair, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. PRP injections have a concentration of platelets that are five to 10 times higher than that of blood.

These preparations have previously been used to treat various athletic injuries. In order to evaluate their effectiveness in alleviating cartilage tears, a team of scientists conducted a study in which more than 100 individuals who had chronic pain or swelling of the knee were treated with either PRP injections or hyaluronic acid, which is a more common medical approach.

Results showed that both treatments led to comparable improvements in pain and function.

"As athletic participation has grown, new problems like cartilage lesions, or tears, continue to emerge. Finding the right approach to treatment is difficult, but PRP has emerged as a viable option according to our research," said researcher Elizaveta Kon, M.D.

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