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.