Researchers in France have conducted a clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness of a single Platelet Rich Plasma(PRP) injection versus Hyaluronic Acid(HA) supplementation in treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Such measures of success included the ability to alleviate pain and improve function. An additional aim of this study was to identify biological elements of PRP that may contribute to its effectiveness.
Fifty-four patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis received therapeutic injections (twenty-six received PRP and twenty-eight received HA injections.) Both treatments elicited an improvement in knee function and provided symptom relief. In the tested patient population the study concluded that a single pure PRP injection offers a significant improvement in the clinical manifestations of knee osteoarthritis that is comparable to a single HA injection. Moreover, levels of growth factors present in the PRP revealed a correlation between growth factor dosage and a lower Western Ontario and McMaster University Arthritis Index (WOMAC) score, which indicates less pain and less functional impairment. Most research available suggests that PRP and hyaluronic acid injections may best benefit patients with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis.