Evaluation of low-level laser therapy, platelet-rich plasma, and their combination on the healing of Achilles tendon in rabbits

Lasers Med Sci. 2015 May;30(4):1305-13. doi: 10.1007/s10103-015-1733-6. Epub 2015 Mar 11.


Tendon repair is still one of the challenges for rehabilitation. Various treatments for tendon injuries have been used in recent decade. This study was established to investigate the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment alone, and using combined method on the healing of Achilles tendon in rabbits. Seventy-two healthy mature male white New Zealand rabbits were divided randomly into four groups of 18 animals each: control: partial tenotomy with no treatment, only 1 mL normal saline was injected on days 1, 8, and 15 at the site of splitting; PRP: partial tenotomy with PRP treatment on days 1, 8, and 15 at the site of splitting; LLLT: partial tenotomy with LLLT (K30 hand-held probe, AZOR, Technica, Russia, 650 nm, 30 mW, surface area = 1 cm(2), 60 S/cm(2), energy density = 1.8 J/cm(2)) for 15 consecutive days; LLLT + PRP: partial tenotomy with LLLT + PRP. At the end of trial, the rabbits were euthanatized and tendon specimens were harvested and were submitted for histopathological evaluation, hydroxyproline levels, and biomechanical measurement. The Tukey post hoc test was performed. The results for these parameters showed that PRP or LLLT alone has significant advantages over untreated animals (P < 0.05). Furthermore, it was found that the combined treatment with PRP and LLLT is even more efficient. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) between the two groups of LLLT and PRP. However, the treatments combining PRP and LLLT showed significant results in comparison of PRP or LLLT alone (P < 0.05). Our results demonstrate that the healing time of injured tendon decreases by using the two therapies combined.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / injuries
  • Achilles Tendon / physiopathology
  • Achilles Tendon / radiation effects*
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma
  • Rabbits
  • Tendon Injuries / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / radiation effects