Multiple injections of leukoreduced platelet rich plasma reduce pain and functional impairment in a canine model of ACL and meniscal deficiency

J Orthop Res. 2016 Apr;34(4):607-15. doi: 10.1002/jor.23054. Epub 2015 Oct 2.


Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is used to treat many musculoskeletal disorders. We used a canine model to determine the effects of multiple intra-articular injections of leukoreduced PRP (ACP) on anterior cruciate ligament healing, meniscal healing, and progression of osteoarthritis (OA). With Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) approval, 12 dogs underwent partial ACL transection and meniscal release in one knee. At weeks 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8 after insult, dogs were treated with intra-articular injections (2 ml) of either ACP (n = 6) or saline (n = 6). Dogs were assessed over 6 months to determine comfortable range of motion (CROM), lameness, pain, effusion, kinetics, and radiographic and arthroscopic assessments. At 6-month endpoint, dogs were assessed for ACL material properties and histopathology. Saline-treated dogs had significantly (p < 0.04) more CROM loss, significantly (p < 0.01) more pain, significantly (p < 0.05) more severe lameness, significantly (p < 0.05) lower function, and significantly (p < 0.05) lower %Total Pressure Index in affected hindlimbs compared to ACP-treated dogs. Radiographic OA increased significantly (p < 0.01) over time within each group. Arthroscopically, saline-treated knees showed moderate to severe synovitis, further ACL disruption, and medial compartment cartilage loss, and ACP-treated knees showed evidence of ACL repair and less severe synovitis. ACL material properties in ACP-treated knees were closer to normal than in saline-treated knees, however, the differences were not statistically significant. ACL histopathology was significantly (p< 0.05) less severe in ACP-treated knees compared to saline-treated knees. Five intra-articular injections of leukoreduced PRP had beneficial effects for ACL healing, improved range of motion, decreased pain, and improved limb function for up to 6 months in this model.

Keywords: anterior cruciate ligament; intra-articular injection; knee; osteoarthritis; platelet rich plasma.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthralgia / therapy*
  • Arthroscopy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Knee Injuries / complications
  • Knee Injuries / therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / prevention & control*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Random Allocation
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries