Ultrasound-Guided Transforaminal Injections of Platelet-Rich Plasma Compared with Steroid in Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study

Neural Plast. 2021 May 27;2021:5558138. doi: 10.1155/2021/5558138. eCollection 2021.


Transforaminal steroid injection is extensively used as a treatment in cases of herniated disc, but it is associated with complications. In comparison, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection has been used in musculoskeletal disorders and could be another option. This study is aimed at comparing the efficacy and safety aspects between ultrasound-guided transforaminal injections of PRP and steroid in patients who suffer from radicular pain due to lumbar disc herniation. In a randomized controlled trial, ultrasound-guided transforaminal injections of either PRP (n = 61) or steroid (n = 63) were administered to a total of 124 patients who suffer from radicular pain due to lumbar disc herniation. Patients were assessed by the visual analogue scale (VAS), pressure pain thresholds (PPTs), Oswestry disability index (ODI), and the physical function (PF) and bodily pain (BP) domains of the 36-item short form health survey (SF-36) before operation and 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after operation. The rate and latency of F-wave were obtained before operation and 12 months postoperation. There was no statistical difference in terms of age and sex between both groups. Statistically significant improvements from the patients' data before operation to data obtained 1-month postoperation were observed in VAS, PPTs, ODI, and PF and BP of SF-36 in both groups and kept for 1 year. F-wave rate and latency were improved significantly at 1-year postoperation in both groups. Intergroup differences during follow-ups over a period of 1 year were not found to be significant in all the above assessment between the PRP and steroid groups. No complications were reported. The results showed similar outcome for both transforaminal injections using PRP and steroid in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation, suggesting the possible application of PRP injection as a safer alternative. The trial was registered in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR-INR-17011825).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Betamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / therapy*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sciatica / etiology
  • Sciatica / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*
  • Visual Analog Scale


  • Betamethasone

Associated data

  • ChiCTR/ChiCTR-INR-17011825