Degenerative Meniscus Tears Treated Nonoperatively With Platelet-Rich Plasma Yield Variable Clinical and Imaging Outcomes: A Systematic Review

Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil. 2024 Feb 23;6(2):100916. doi: 10.1016/j.asmr.2024.100916. eCollection 2024 Apr.


Purpose: To perform a systematic review on clinical and radiologic outcomes for meniscus tears treated nonoperatively with platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

Methods: A literature search was performed according to the 2020 Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines using keywords and Boolean operators in SCOPUS, PubMed, Medline, and the Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials in April 2023. Inclusion criteria were limited to Level I to IV human studies reporting on outcomes of meniscus tears treated nonoperatively with PRP.

Results: A total of 6 studies, consisting of 184 patients, were identified. There was 1 Level I study and 5 Level IV studies. Mean patient age was 47.8 ± 7.9 years, with 62% (n = 114/184) being female. The medial meniscus was treated in 95.7% (n = 157/164) of patients. Mean follow-up ranged from 75.9 days to 31.9 months. Meniscus tears were generally described as chronic, degenerative, or intrasubstance. In 4 studies, magnetic resonance imaging revealed variable improvement in meniscus grade with complete healing in 0% to 44% of patients and partial healing in 0% to 40% of patients. Four of 5 studies reported significant statistical improvement in pain from baseline to final follow-up. Studies reporting on clinical outcomes showed significant improvements Lysholm score (2 studies), Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score total score (2 studies), and Tegner score (1 study). Successful return to sport occurred in 60% to 100% of patients. Two studies reported that most patients were either very satisfied or satisfied following treatment.

Conclusions: The use of PRP injections for the treatment of meniscus tears led to variable results based on postoperative magnetic resonance evaluation and improvements in clinical outcomes, although the clinical significance remains unclear. The heterogeneity of PRP protocols, short-term follow-up, and lack of comparative studies limit findings.

Level of evidence: Level IV, systematic review of Level I to IV studies.

Publication types

  • Review