Demonstrating the effectiveness of Platelet Rich Plasma and Prolotherapy treatments in knee osteoarthritis

Ir J Med Sci. 2023 Feb;192(1):193-198. doi: 10.1007/s11845-022-03168-7. Epub 2022 Sep 27.


Background: Platelet-rich plasma(PRP) and prolotherapy(PRL) are regenerative treatment approaches in the knee osteoarthritis (KOA).

Aim: To see how efficient PRP and PRL are in treating KOA.

Methods: A total of 108 patients with a diagnosis of KOA who received either PRL, PRP, or exercise therapy and whose 3-month follow-up data were available were included in this retrospective study (PRL n = 35 or PRP n = 35, exercise n = 38). Visual Analogue Scale(VAS) and The Western Ontario McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index(WOMAC) were used as outcome measures at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the three groups in terms of demographic parameters, baseline assessments of pain intensity, or WOMAC scores. At the first and third months, all groups showed a substantial improvement in the VAS activity, resting and WOMAC values as compared to before treatment(p < 0.05). When the groups were compared, the VAS activity, resting, and WOMAC values in PRP and PRL improved significantly in the first and third months compared to the exercise group. At one month, there was a statistically significant improvement in VAS activity and WOMAC pain and total scores compared to PRP and PRL, but this improvement was not significant at 3 months.

Conclusion: Pain and disability were significantly improved with PRL and PRP compared with exercise therapy. Although PRP is more effective than PRL in the first month after treatment, PRL may be preferred due to its low cost, long-term efficacy, and low complication rates due to the periarticular application.

Keywords: Knee osteoarthritis; Platelet-rich plasma; Prolotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee* / therapy
  • Pain
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Prolotherapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome