In a Jan/Feb 08 issue of Practical Pain Management, the authors describe PRP use in tendon injuries, spine conditions, as well as hip & knee arthritis. The article emphasizes a need for agreed upon nomenclature.
An interesting concept addressed is whether a gel matrix is needed for the platelets to adhere to the target site. Because of their structure tendons & ligaments may not require the gel, however it is not known if adding calcium chloride with thrombin to the PRP is needed in joint spaces like knee & hip arthritis. Further data needs to compare the usage with gel versus without.
The article showed x-rays post prp injection with subtle smoothing of a previously arthritic femoral head (hip bone). It is not clearly known how PRP acts on arthritis, however a particular growth factor found in PRP, TGF-B has been linked to cartilage growth (chondrogenesis). Furthermore, another study showed that PRP influences hyauloronic acid production which balances cell proliferation (angiogenesis). Also, the authors suggested a possible role in serotonin decreasing pain. Lastly, utilizing “stem cells” (the birth place of platelets and their precursors)may offer the most ultimate potential.