Nonoperative Applications of Placental Tissue Matrix in Orthopaedic Sports Injuries: A Review of Literature

Clin J Sport Med. 2020 Jul;30(4):383-389. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000684.


Objective: Recently, various amniotic tissue and placental-based tissue matrix (PTM) products have become increasingly available as a nonoperative treatment for tendinopathies and orthopaedic sports injuries. The aim of this review was to evaluate: (1) safety and efficacy of nonoperative use of PTM products, in acute and chronic tendon injuries and (2) the commercially available tissue options to better understand their differences.

Data sources: A comprehensive literature search was performed. Inclusion criteria were studies reporting on: (1) nonoperative uses of PTM therapy in sports injuries; and (2) clinical outcomes; in (3) human subjects. We excluded: (1) animal studies; (2) basic science studies; (3) non-English language literature; (4) review articles; and (5) duplicate studies. In addition, to determine the various product formulations, their tissue contents, and indications for use, we searched publicly available website content, marketing literature, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registration documents.

Main results: Current evidence investigated various PTM products for the treatment of various tendon injuries with demonstrated efficacy mainly in the short term with follow-up ranging between 6 weeks and 3 months. In addition, across all studies, no specific adverse events were reported. Substantial differences exist among the currently available products due to variations in their tissue source, formulations, processing methods, method of sterilization, preservation, and storage, indications for use, and FDA regulation.

Conclusions: Placental- and amniotic membrane-derived tissues seem to be safe for the nonoperative treatment of tendinopathies. However, several factors may affect the efficacy and safety profile of these products, and the orthopaedic surgeons should be aware of the differences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amnion / cytology
  • Amnion / transplantation
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Placenta / cytology
  • Placenta / transplantation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Tendon Injuries / therapy*
  • Transplantation, Homologous