Upcoming speaker at the The Orthobiologic Institute (TOBI) Regenerative Symposium, Dr Jay Smith, recently published a paper in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine comparing the effectiveness of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) versus Extracorporeal Shock-wave Therapy (ESWT) for athletes with chronic patellar tendinopathy, “jumper’s knee”. The randomized controlled study examined 46 individuals with ultrasound diagnosed Jumper’s knee for greater than 6 months.
Twenty- three patients underwent 2 PRP injections directly into the affected patellar tendon, separated by 1 week. While, twenty- three patients underwent 3 treatments of ESWT separated by 48-72 hours. One week post-procedure, each treatment group initiated a stretching and strengthening program for 2 weeks duration, and gradually resumed normal daily and athletic activity by 4 weeks post-treatment.
The results of the 12-month follow up period showed significant improvements from baseline in both the PRP and ESWT groups, assessed via the Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment-Patella (VISA-P) questionnaire and Visual Analogue Scale during 5 single leg squats. The PRP group illustrated significantly greater improvements in VISA-P scores at 6 and 12 months follow-up, while also revealing similar improvements in VAS scores during single leg squatting. Furthermore, at the end of the 12 months follow-up period, 91% of PRP patients rated their “response to treatment” as good or excellent, in comparison to only 60.8% in the ESWT group.
The study illustrates the positive effects of both extracorporeal shockwave therapy and intra-tendon PRP injection on chronic patellar tendinopathy. However, the results of the study show greater 6 months improvements and better overall functional outcomes and patient satisfaction at 12 months with PRP treatment. Although additional studies are needed to confirm these findings and further investigate PRP efficacy, this study provides preliminary data illustrating the potential therapeutic effects of PRP in the treatment of chronic “jumper’s knee”.