Platelet-Rich Plasma for Patellar Tendinopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Leukocyte-Rich PRP or Leukocyte-Poor PRP Versus Saline

Review written by Dr Ebonie Rio info

Key Points

  1. Autologous Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections have received quite a bit of media attention, especially in elite-level sport.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Patellar tendinopathy (PT) is a painful condition seen in athletes who highly load their patellar tendon e.g. jumping (1). Current treatment options include exercise, load modification, shockwave therapies, biomechanical interventions and injectable therapies. Ultra-sound guided autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections have received quite a bit of media attention as a potential treatment for PT.

The IOC have suggested that although PRP is likely not harmful, its efficacy should be determined through robust clinical trials (2). The authors of the present study aimed to determine if a single PRP injection, either Leukocyte-Rich PRP (LR-PRP) or Leukocyte-Poor PRP (LP-PRP), was superior to saline solution for the treatment of PT. It was hypothesized that no treatment would be superior to another for the treatment of PT.

Current treatment options for patellar tendinopathy include exercise, load modification, shockwave therapies, biomechanical interventions and injectable therapies.
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At this stage there is no data to support the recommendation to have a PRP injection for people with patellar tendinopathy.

METHODS

61 participants (aged 18 - 50 years) diagnosed with PT for > 6 months were recruited and then randomized into 3 different groups. Following allocation, participants received an ultra-sound guided injection of either LR-PRP, LP-PRP or saline directly into the

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