Platelet-rich plasma injections for the treatment of hamstring injuries: a randomized controlled trial

Am J Sports Med. 2014 Oct;42(10):2410-8. doi: 10.1177/0363546514541540. Epub 2014 Jul 29.


Background: A hamstring injury is one of the most common types of injury affecting athletes. Despite this, the optimal management of hamstring muscle injuries is not yet defined. The effect of autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy on the recovery of hamstring injuries is unclear.

Purpose: To investigate the effect of a single PRP injection in the treatment of grade 2 hamstring muscle injuries.

Study design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: Twenty-eight patients diagnosed with an acute hamstring injury were randomly allocated to autologous PRP therapy combined with a rehabilitation program or a rehabilitation program only. The primary outcome of this study was time to return to play. In addition, changes in pain severity and pain interference scores over time were examined.

Results: Patients in the PRP group achieved full recovery significantly earlier than controls (P = .02). The mean time to return to play was 26.7 ± 7.0 days and 42.5 ± 20.6 days for the PRP and control groups, respectively (t(22) = 2.50, P = .02). [corrected]. Significantly lower pain severity scores were observed in the PRP group throughout the study. However, no significant difference in the pain interference score was found between the 2 groups.

Conclusion: A single autologous PRP injection combined with a rehabilitation program was significantly more effective in treating hamstring injuries than a rehabilitation program alone.

Keywords: management; muscle injury; platelet-rich plasma (PRP); return to play.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Lower Extremity / injuries*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Platelet Transfusion / methods
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Regression Analysis
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Time Factors