Sunday, March 6, 2011

PRP platelet rich plasma no effect on Achilles Tendon Ruptures.

PRP platelet-rich plasma stands for is still used a great deal with people paying upwards of 4 thousand dollars for treatment. I have had lots of positive feedback from athletes that had the procedure done but I am seeing more and articles similar to this. This is a small sample size but still interesting article.

Autologous Platelets Have No Effect on the Healing of Human Achilles Tendon Ruptures

A Randomized Single-Blind Study

  1. Thorsten Schepull, MD*,
  2. Joanna Kvist, PhD, RPT,
  3. Hanna Norrman, RPT,
  4. Marie Trinks, BS,
  5. Gösta Berlin, MD, PhD and
  6. Per Aspenberg, MD, PhD*§

+Author Affiliations

  1. *Orthopedics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, IKE, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
  2. Section for Physiotherapy, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
  3. Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
  4. Investigation performed at Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  1. §Per Aspenberg, Linköping University Hospital, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden (e-mail:


Background: Animal studies have shown that local application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) stimulates tendon repair. Preliminary results from a retrospective case series have shown faster return to sports.

Hypothesis: Autologous PRP stimulates healing of acute Achilles tendon ruptures.

Study Design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: Thirty patients were recruited consecutively. During surgery, tantalum beads were implanted in the Achilles tendon proximal and distal to the rupture. Before skin suture, randomization was performed, and 16 patients were injected with 10mL PRP (10 times higher platelet concentration than peripheral blood) whereas 14 were not. With 3-dimensional radiographs (roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis; RSA), the distance between the beads was measured at 7, 19, and 52 weeks while the patient resisted different dorsal flexion moments over the ankle joint, thereby estimating tendon strain per load. An estimate of elasticity modulus was calculated using callus dimensions from computed tomography. At 1 year, functional outcome was evaluated, including the heel raise index and Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score. The primary effect variables were elasticity modulus at 7 weeks and heel raise index at 1 year.

Results: The mechanical variables showed a large degree of variation between patients that could not be explained by measuring error. No significant group differences in elasticity modulus could be shown. There was no significant difference in heel raise index. The Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score was lower in the PRP group, suggesting a detrimental effect. There was a correlation between the elasticity modulus at 7 and 19 weeks and the heel raise index at 52 weeks.

Conclusion: The results suggest that PRP is not useful for treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures. The variation in elasticity modulus provides biologically relevant information, although it is unclear how early biomechanics is connected to late clinical results.


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