Effect of single injection of platelet-rich plasma in comparison with corticosteroid on knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind randomized clinical trial

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 Jul-Aug;56(7-8):901-8. Epub 2015 Jul 14.


Background: Evidence on the effect of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in treating osteoarthritis (OA) is insufficient. Therefore, the present study compares the effects of a one-time injection of PRP and corticosteroid (CS).

Methods: In the present randomized double blind clinical trial, the participants who suffered from knee osteoarthritis (Grades II/III), were randomly divided into two groups: intra articular injection of PRP and CS. Knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS), the 20-Meter-Walk Test (20MW), active and passive ranges of motions (ROM), flexion contracture, and pain intensity based on Visual Analog Scale (VAS) were assessed before, 2-months, and 6-months after interventions.

Results: Forty-one participants (48 knees) were involved in the research (66.7% women; average age of 61.1±7.0 years old). Compared to the group treated with corticosteroid, pain relief (df: 6, 35; F=11.0; P=0.007), symptom free (df:6, 35; F=23.0; P<0.001), activities of daily living (ADL) (df:6, 35; F=10.7; P=0.005) and quality of life (df:6, 35; F=5.2; P=0.02) in the RPR group were significantly higher, but sporting ability was not different between the two groups (df: 6, 35; F=0.6; P=0.55). PRP was significantly more helpful for relieving patients' pain (VAS) compared to corticosteroids (df: 6, 35; F=32.0; P=0.001). It is also notable that using PRP was more helpful in improving the 20MW test than corticosteroid treatment (df: 6, 35; F=7.4; P=0.04) but none of the treatments had any impact on active flexion ROM، passive flexion ROM and flexion contracture (P>0.05).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that one shot of PRP injection, decreased joint pain more and longer-term, alleviated the symptoms, and enhanced the activity of daily living and quality of life in short-term duration in comparison with CS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Knee Joint
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Methylprednisolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / drug therapy
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Quality of Life
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Analog Scale


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate
  • Methylprednisolone