A new study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can actually serve a protective role against the harmful effects of steroids and specific antibiotics on tendons.
Physicians have long been aware that steroids and antibiotics in the drug class known as “fluoroquinolones”are toxic to the tendon. Steroids and fluoroquinolone drugs tend to weaken tendons and have the potential to predispose tendons to tearing and rupture. When this happens, healing of the tendon is slow and full recovery is often uncertain.
This new study revealed that growth factors present in PRP may accelerate tendon repair and potentially even prevent tendon rupture against the toxic effects of dexamethasone (a corticosteroid) and ciprofloxacin (a fluoroquinolone antibiotic).
The study was carried out in a controlled laboratory setting where human hamstring tenocytes (tendon cells) were exposed to different doses of the two toxic agents with and without PRP. After treatment with PRP, the number of viable cells increased while the number of dead cells decreased.
While steroids and antiobiotics are highly effective and necessary in the treatment of inflammatory and infectious conditions, we realize they are not without their risks. It is very encouraging to see that some of these adverse events can be combated with the use of PRP for tendon injuries.