TUESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to placebo, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections do not significantly improve pain and activity level in patients with chronic tendinopathy of the Achilles tendon, according to a study in the Jan. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Robert J. de Vos, M.D., of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues randomized 54 subjects, aged 18 to 70 years, with chronic tendinopathy above the Achilles tendon to be treated either with PRP injections or a saline injection. Both groups also received usual care consisting of a 12-week program of eccentric exercises. Pain and activity were judged at six, 12, and 24 weeks using the Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment-Achilles (VISA-A) questionnaire with a target improvement of 12 points in the VISA-A scores range of zero to 100.
The researchers observed no significant improvement in the PRP group's VISA-A scores from baseline to 24 weeks, compared to the placebo group. At 24 weeks, the mean VISA-A score had improved in the PRP group by 21.7 points and in the placebo group by 20.5 points, a 1.2-point difference -- well below the 12-point target improvement.
"Among patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy who were treated with eccentric exercises, a PRP injection compared with a saline injection did not result in greater improvement in pain and activity," the authors write.
Study funding provided by Biomet Biologics L.L.C.