Platelet Rich Plasma in Musculoskeletal Pathology: A Necessary Rescue or a Lost Cause?

Pain Physician. 2017 Mar;20(3):E345-E356.


Background: Platelet rich plasma (PRP) has been used for decades to facilitate surgical tissue repair; therefore, the current trend of percutaneously injecting PRP to theoretically enhance tissue regeneration and repair is a logical progression. Applications include treatment of osteoarthritis, tendinopathy, chondropathy, acute and chronic soft tissue injuries, muscle or ligament tear, as well as enhancement of healing after bone or tissue reconstruction. However, there is limited evidence to support the use of PRP in the abovementioned conditions. Variations in the preparation of PRP and its application in various conditions influence its effect on various orthopedic conditions.

Objective: To provide a basic overview of the current use of PRP in treating musculoskeletal conditions.

Methods: Studies relevant to PRP were extracted from the PubMed and Medline database within the dates ranging from 1990 through 2015. These studies included in vitro as well as in-vivo animal experiments and careful analysis of the study population, type of intervention, and outcomes was made.

Results: PRP has been noted to be a beneficial solution for tissue healing based on limited current literature. However a variety of factors such as method of preparation, composition, medical condition of the patient, anatomic location of the lesion, and tissue type can alter outcome.

Conclusion: The effectiveness and potential adverse effects of this treatment require high quality studies prior to widespread clinical application.Key words: Growth factors, platelet rich plasma, regeneration, regenerative healing, tissue repair, stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Ligaments / injuries
  • Ligaments / physiopathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / therapy*
  • Tendinopathy / therapy