Objective: To determine whether ultrasound-guided platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are an effective treatment for chronic tendinopathies.
Design: A retrospective, cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Four academic sports medicine centers from across the United States.
Patients: A total of 180 men and women between the ages of 18 and 75 years who received ultrasound-guided PRP injections for tendinopathy refractory to conventional treatments.
Interventions: Survey on satisfaction and functional outcome.
Main outcome measurements: Perceived improvement in symptoms at least 6 months after treatment, perceived change in visual analog scale score, assessment of functional pain, and overall satisfaction.
Results: On average, patients were 48 years old, had symptoms for a median of 18 months before treatment, and answered the survey on average 15 months after treatment. Overall, 82% of patients indicated moderate to complete improvement in symptoms. The most common injection sites were the lateral epicondyle, Achilles, and patellar tendons. Other sites treated included the rotator cuff, hamstring, gluteus medius, and medial epicondyle, among others. Furthermore, 60% of patients received only 1 injection, 30% received 2 injections, and 10% received 3 or more injections. Patients' perceived decrease in visual analog scale score was 75%, from 7.0 ± 1.8 to 1.8 ± 2.0 (-5.2, SD 2.7, 95% confidence interval -5.65 to -4.86, P < .0001). In addition, at follow-up, 95% of patients reported having no pain at rest that disrupted their activities of daily living and 68% reported no pain during activities. A total of 85% of patients were satisfied with the procedure.
Conclusions: In this retrospective study, in which we evaluated administration of PRP for chronic tendinopathy, we found that the majority of patients reported a moderate (>50%) improvement in pain symptoms.
Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.