Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), an autologous derivative of whole blood that contains a supraphysiological concentration of platelets, has gained increasing attention in both the scientific literature and the wider media for its potential application in the treatment of traumatic musculoskeletal injury. The theoretical benefit of PRP in providing a local environment for tissue regeneration which is rich in growth factors and other cytokines has been supported by in vitro and animal studies which suggest a positive influence on the migration and proliferation of a number of cell types. However, the reported clinical use of PRP is largely confined to the last two decades and initially centred around its application in dental and maxillofacial surgery. More recently, developments in research of the regenerative effects of PRP in a range of tissue types including bone, cartilage, tendon and muscle, particularly in the context of traumatic injury, have attracted interest in fields such as orthopaedic and plastic surgery where effective union of sometimes poorly vascularised and damaged tissue is a critical determinant of successful clinical outcome. Despite the lack of high-quality trial data, results from clinical studies have been encouraging, and PRP administration remains an attractive strategy given its cost-effective and minimally invasive nature. In this review, we summarise the current literature on the use of PRP and highlight areas of controversy and emerging clinical applications.