Objective: To assess the safety and symptomatic changes of IA injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in patients with OA of the hip.
Methods: Forty patients affected by monolateral severe hip OA were included in the study. Each joint received three IA injections of PRP, which were administered once a week. The primary end point was meaningful pain relief, which was described as a reduction in pain intensity of at least 30% from baseline levels as evaluated by the WOMAC subscale at 6-months post-treatment. The visual analogue scale (VAS) and Harris hip score subscale for pain were used to verify the results. Secondary end points included changes in the level of disability of at least 30% and the percentage of positive responders, i.e. the number of patients that achieved a >30% reduction in pain and disability.
Results: Statistically significant reductions in VAS, WOMAC and Harris hip subscores for pain and function were reported at 7 weeks and 6 months (P < 0.05). Twenty-three (57.5%) patients reported a clinically relevant reduction of pain (45%, range 30-71%) as assessed by the WOMAC subscale. Sixteen (40%) of these patients were classified as excellent responders who showed an early pain reduction at 6-7 weeks, which was sustained at 6 months, and a parallel reduction of disability. Side effects were negligible and were limited to a sensation of heaviness in the injection site.
Conclusions: This preliminary non-controlled prospective study supported the safety, tolerability and efficacy of PRP injections for pain relief and improved function in a limited number of patients with OA of the hip.