The 17th February saw the publication of Dr David Keene and Prof Keith Willett's paper "How effective are platelet rich plasma injections in treating musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries?" in the British Medical Journal. The article can be downloaded using the toll free link here.
The paper is connected with the PATH-2 study, led by researchers in NDORMS, and forms part of a BMJ series of occasional articles that highlight areas of practice where management lacks convincing supporting evidence.
The key messages of the article include:
- Routine use of autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is not recommended as there is insufficient evidence of clinical efficacy; instead, its use should be restricted to research settings
- Ensure patients receiving PRP are aware of the limited evidence of efficacy, so that they can make an informed decision about their care
- Clinicians should be aware of the concentration of PRP, and yield of bioactive proteins, produced by their selected preparation device
The PATH-2 study is a randomised controlled trial to compare the effects on muscle-tendon function of a standardised PRP preparation versus dry needle injection (control) for non-operatively managed acute Achilles tendon rupture. You can read more about the trial here.