Achilles tendinopathy management: A pilot randomised controlled trial comparing platelet-richplasma injection with an eccentric loading programme

Bone Joint Res. 2013 Oct 17;2(10):227-32. doi: 10.1302/2046-3758.210.2000200. Print 2013.


Objectives: To conduct a pilot randomised controlled trial to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a larger trial to evaluate the difference in Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment-Achilles (VISA-A) scores at six months between patients with Achilles tendinopathy treated with a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection compared with an eccentric loading programme.

Methods: Two groups of patients with mid-substance Achilles tendinopathy were randomised to receive a PRP injection or an eccentric loading programme. A total of 20 patients were randomised, with a mean age of 49 years (35 to 66). All outcome measures were recorded at baseline, six weeks, three months and six months.

Results: The mean VISA-A score for the injection group at the primary endpoint of six months was 76.0 (95% confidence interval (CI) 58.3 to 93.7) and for the exercise group was 57.4 (95% CI 38.1 to 76.7). There was no statistically significant difference between these scores (p = 0.171), which was expected from such a pilot study.

Conclusions: This pilot study has been key to providing data to inform a larger study and shows that the methodology is feasible. Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2013;2:227-32.

Keywords: Achilles tendon; Eccentric loading; Platelet rich plasma.