Background: Muscle injuries are one of the commonest injuries affecting athletes. It often leads to significant pain and disability causing loss of training and competition time. With current treatment, the duration to return-to-play ranges form six weeks to never, depending on injury severity. Recent researches have suggested that autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection into the injured site may hasten soft tissues healing. To-date, there has been no randomised clinical trials to evaluate the effects of PRP on muscle healing. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of autologous PRP on duration to return-to-play after muscle injury.
Methods and design: A randomised, single blind controlled trial will be conducted. Twenty-eight patients aged 18 years and above with a recent grade-2 hamstring injury will be invited to take part. Participants will be randomised to receive either autologous PRP injection with rehabilitation programme, or rehabilitation programme only. Participants will be followed up at day three of study and then weekly for 16 weeks. At each follow up visit, participants will be assessed on readiness to return-to-play using a set of criteria. The primary end-point is when participants have fulfilled the return-to-play criteria or end of 16 weeks.The main outcome measure of this study is the duration to return-to-play after injury.
Conclusion: This study protocol proposes a rigorous and potential significant evaluation of PRP use for grade-2 hamstring injury. If proven effective such findings could be of great benefit for patients with similar injuries.
Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISCRTN66528592.