Aim: Professional athletes require faster recovery after trauma. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound guided platelets rich plasma (PRP) treatment for acute muscle injury comparing with traditional conservative therapy.
Materials and methods: Thirty consecutive men (mean age 24 years old) professional athletes with acute local muscle injury were enrolled. All patients underwent US and sonoelastography examination. Patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups: group A received targeted PRP injection under US guidance and additionally conservative treatment and group B received conventional conservative treatment only. The pain was assessed according to visual analogue scale (0 to 10), muscle function according to pain on resisted ﬂexion or strength, and range of motion. Both groups were further evaluated in the days 1, 7, 14, 21, and 28 after treatment starting. US criteria for regeneration were considered to be the disappearance of hypoechoic areas of muscle damage, fibrous tissue more stiff on sonoelastography, and neovascularity appearances.
Results: The pain relief was more important in group A compared to group B starting from day 1 and continuing in the next 3 evaluation sessions (p<0.05). At the end of observation (28 day), 93 % of pain regression was declared by patients in group A vs 80 % of regression of pain in group B (p>0.05). Assessing the physical evolution in the 7th and 14th days significant changes in strength (p<0.05) and range of motion (p<0.05) for PRP treatment group was observed. After 28 days no significant differences between groups were observed concerning the pain on resisted ﬂexion and strength (p>0.05) but the range of movement improved better in group A compared with group B (p< 0.05). Subjective global function scores improved significantly in group A compared with group B on the 28th day (p<0.05). The mean time for the physical recovery movement volume and the ability to practice sport was 10+/-1.2 days in group A and 22+/-1.5 days in group B.
Conclusions: Injections of PRP under ultrasound guidance had asignificantly higher level of pain relief, physical recovery, and faster regeneration compared with conventional conservative treatment in acute muscle trauma in professional athletes.