Sunday, October 5, 2008
PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma has seen increased use in professional athletes. Recently, Takashi Saito, a star pitcher for the LA dodgers suffered a tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. In efforts to accelerate healing and to avoid a Tommy John surgery, Saito elected to receive the prp injection graft. As a result, He was able to pitch in the playoffs without limitations.
We have treated other professional athletes with similar results. PRP can be thought of in both high level athletes to accelerate recovery or in chronic non-healing injuries that have persisted despite conservative treatment or even surgery.
Hopefully as more high level athletes receive this treatment, it will increase awareness about this procedure that has very little downside and tremendous potential.
Also, Stanford University Football players have been receiving platelet Rich Plasma injection grafts with success.
There is currently a multi-center FDA study on tennis elbow that will be enrolling more patients soon.
Also we are working on another PRP knee arthritis study based on the previously successful pilot study.
As testament to the growth in the biologic sector, numerous orthobiologic companies worldwide are funding research & are obtaining grants with PRP use.
Applications of study include plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinosis, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), knee MCL tears, perodontal tissue, aortic aneurysms, coronary artery bypass, tennis elbow, and rotator cuff tears among others. I am currently conducting research specifically on knee arthritis.
Following the well publicized NEJM article suggesting the ineffective role of arthroscoopy in arthritis, many are looking for alternative treatments that are cost effective with little risk. This article from the LA Times highlights some options including an exercise program, physical therapy modalities, and weight loss. While I agree that physical therapy is beneficial, as is maintaining an active lifestyle; often we need to address the internal biochemical environment of the joint. This may be achieved with Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy. Our knee arthritis clinical trials continue to show promising results in most cases. I have the 3 mo data in & I am collecting 6 mo data in a few weeks from now. These results will be published.