Platelet rich plasma injection grafts for musculoskeletal injuries: a review

Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2008 Dec;1(3-4):165-74. doi: 10.1007/s12178-008-9032-5.


In Europe and the United States, there is an increasing prevalence of the use of autologous blood products to facilitate healing in a variety of applications. Recently, we have learned more about specific growth factors, which play a crucial role in the healing process. With that knowledge there is abundant enthusiasm in the application of concentrated platelets, which release a supra-maximal quantity of these growth factors to stimulate recovery in non-healing injuries. For 20 years, the application of autologous PRP has been safely used and documented in many fields including; orthopedics, sports medicine, dentistry, ENT, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, urology, wound healing, cosmetic, cardiothoracic, and maxillofacial surgery. This article introduces the reader to PRP therapy and reviews the current literature on this emerging treatment modality. In summary, PRP provides a promising alternative to surgery by promoting safe and natural healing. However, there are few controlled trials, and mostly anecdotal or case reports. Additionally the sample sizes are frequently small, limiting the generalization of the findings. Recently, there is emerging literature on the beneficial effects of PRP for chronic non-healing tendon injuries including lateral epicondylitis and plantar fasciitis and cartilage degeneration (Mishra and Pavelko, The American Journal of Sports Medicine 10(10):1-5, 2006; Barrett and Erredge, Podiatry Today 17:37-42, 2004). However, as clinical use increases, more controlled studies are needed to further understand this treatment.