Long-term beneficial effects of platelet-rich plasma for non-insertional Achilles tendinopathy

Foot Ankle Surg. 2015 Sep;21(3):178-81. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2014.11.005. Epub 2014 Dec 11.


Background: The aim of this retrospective study is evaluating the long-term clinical outcome in patients affected by mid-portion Chronic Recalcitrant Achilles Tendinopathies (CRAT) treated with administration of single platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

Methods: A total of 83 tendons (73 patients, 59 males and 14 females; age 43±17.5 years) affected by non-insertional CRAT were treated with single PRP injection. These were evaluated with the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment - Achilles (VISA-A) questionnaire, Blazina score and satisfaction index at baseline at intervals of 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months. Final follow-up was carried out at a mean of 50.1 months (range, 24-96).

Results: Baseline VISA-A was 45±15. Results relative to the final follow-up improved significantly to a mean of 88±8 (p<00.1). Blazina was used for patients practicing sports (54 tendons out of 46 different patients): 37 tendons were grade IIIa, 11 II, and 6 IIIbis. Final follow-up Blazina scores improved for 45 grade 0, 5 I, 4 II (p<00.5). Seventy-six tendons (91.6%) were rated as satisfactory and patients would repeat the treatment. Seven tendons (8.4%) were classified as unsatisfactory at the 6 months follow-up and underwent a second PRP injection. In addition to this, patients reported no Achilles tendon rupture.

Conclusions: The study shows beneficial effects and low complication rate following of single PRP injections on a large cohort of patients with mid-long-term follow-up. No cases reported Achilles tendon rupture, in contrast to literature, which described CRAT as one of the most common risk factors. The use of a single PRP injection can therefore be a safe and attractive alternative in the treatment of non-insertional CRATs.

Keywords: Achilles tendinopathy; Blazina score; Clinical outcome; Follow-up; L-PRP; Leukocyte-rich; Long term; Non-insertional; PRP; Platelet-rich plasma.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis
  • Tendinopathy / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome