A Feb 2011 study( Platelet Rich Plasma Injection reduces Pain in Patients with recaclitrant Epicondylitis) in ORTHOPEDICS; demonstrated efficacy of a single PRP injection to stubborn tennis & golfer’s elbow termed “epicondylitis.”
All 31 patients had continued pain for at least 6months and failed cortisone injection & physical therapy which are often associated with temporary benefit. 90% (28 out of 31) achieved successful outcome with reduction of at least 25% of their worst pain at 6month follow up. The study was limited because there was no control group that did not receive an injection or a placebo with anesthetic. However more & more studies are emerging that support the use of PRP for non-healing tendon injuries as an alternative to surgery.
We are principal investigators on an ongoing FDA approved clincial trail on PRP use for tennis elbow with 12 centers accross the US to determine if PRP use is safe & effective for tennis elbow. The enrollment is complete & results are soon to follow.
Again, PRP is not a Panacea & with time & quality trials we’ll learn what role platelet rich plasma will play in old and new injuries of muscle, tendon, and cartilage. Recently, PRP is being combined with a patient’s own stem cells derived from bone marrow & fat for more challenging cases with encouraging results. It is believed that the PRP acts as a rich environment to support & direct healing from other cell based therapies including stem cells.