PRP Article from TOC

TOC recently published an article about Platelet-Rich Plasma titled, “New Treatment Offers Glimpse into Medicine’s Future.” Read it on Yahoo News here.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma helps Rocco’s Elbow

Rocco Mediate is best known in the golfing world for his candid personality and the epic 2008 duel at the US Open against Tiger Woods. Rocco is loved by fans because of his willingness to ink autographs and his continual attempts to overcome looming challenges that define his underdog status. Rocco’s latest set of challenges came not on the course, but from his body. In 2009, after dealing with chronic back problems, Rocco underwent knee surgery to his right knee. Earlier this year, Rocco dealt with painful tendon tears in his elbow by having a series of three Platelet-Rich Plasma injections (PRP).

During Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy (PRP), a doctor concentrates the patient’s blood platelets (naturally occurring blood components that heal and re-grow cells) by spinning a small sample of blood in a centrifuge. Those platelets are then delivered directly to soft-tissue injuries. The entire process takes about an hour and requires only a standard blood draw and simple injection. A variety of PRP studies have shown varying degrees of success in tendonitis, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinosis, plantar faciitis, osteoarthritis, knee ligament injuries, and muscle tears. A recent study found PRP more effective in treating tennis elbow than corticosteroid. Because of these applications, PRP has been widely used in professional athletics. John Daly and the eventual victor of the epic 2008 US Open duel against Rocco, Tiger Woods, are among the professional golfers who have used PRP to expedite their own healing.

Rocco will play the majority of regular season PGA Tour events this year due to his win last October at the open. Rocco said  his elbow felt healthy following the PRP injections. “The elbow feels good,” Rocco stated after making the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this year. Rocco nears the halfway mark in this year’s FedEx Cup standings in 184th position. He is hoping his scores will feel as good as the elbow.

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Wizards Rashard Lewis “will get the PRP”

Rashard Lewis says he will get PRP in his sore knee

The Washington Post reported today that Washington Wizards player Rashard Lewis will attempt to avoid surgery and receive Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in his sore right knee. Lewis has played the season in pain and received multiple cortisone injections (see “PRP More Effective Than Cortisone”). Wizards team doctors and Lewis’ own doctor, have advised him to receive PRP injections in an effort to avoid surgery.

Lewis said a Washington Wizards doctor “thinks I should try the PRP shot, instead of having the scope…Even though it’s a minor surgery, once you go into the knee, you don’t know how it’s going to be, how it’s going to react.”

With the regular season coming to its conclusion soon, it is likely Lewis will miss all remaining games even after PRP. “I’ll get the PRP,” said Lewis. “If that doesn’t help, we’ll have to clean it out [with surgery] at the end of the season, and then I’ll have to sit out about six weeks, and I have a lot of time to work out in the summer. I really just want to be ready for training camp, whether we have a lockout or not. I just want to be 100 percent, so I can play my game and help this team.”

Reference: Michael Lee, Washington Post

Similar Articles: Pro Sports and Platelet-Rich Plasma

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Platelet-Rich Plasma May Be An Option For Chase Utley

It was reported this week in The Morning Call, that Philadelphia Phillies’ Chase Utley, has patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia (weakened or missing cartilage under the knee cap). Utley may be facing surgery and a four to five month recovery period.

“Chase has had mild patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia in the past that have previously resolved quickly,” team physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti said. “His symptoms returned during his offseason workouts. When he reported to spring training this year, his knee was treated as it had been in the past; however, his symptoms continued.”

Utley, who underwent hip surgery during 2008 and again last season for a torn ligament in his thumb, may be soon facing the knife surgery and a painstaking recovery process. However, since Utley’s knee has failed to respond to conventional treatment methods and the regular season begins April 1, it may be a perfect time to entertain platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) as option. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) , sometimes called “blood-spinning,” has been used to treat the knee injuries of Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hines Ward and Troy Palamalu, NBA Superstar Blake Griffin, and Tiger Woods.

“It’s (PRP) a great way to reduce inflammation and to help things that are slow to heal,” Said Dr. Jonathan Glashow, orthopaedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, to The Morning Call.  “And cartilage and tendons are often slow to heal. There’s not a great blood supply to those structures and we need good blood supply to help the healing process,” he added.

PRP is a fairly new therapy in sports medicine and orthopaedics and still considered experimental. While outcomes of PRP clinical studies vary, most conclude it is very safe and has the potential as an effective, non-surgical treatment for soft-tissue injuries. For Utley who has failed conventional treatments and can’t afford to miss another season, hope could be spelled “PRP.”

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Study Finds Little Benefit in Applying Platelet-Rich Plasma with a Fibrin Matrix to Rotator Cuff Repairs

Expediting the healing of a rotator cuff following surgical repair is of great interest to
orthopaedic surgeons. At the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine’s Speciality Day, hosted in San Diego on February 19th, researchers presented recent findings stating that platelet-rich plasma with a fibrin matrix (PRFM) may be ineffective in expediting the healing of rotator cuffs following surgery.

“Our study on 79 patients who received platelet-rich plasma with a fibrin matrix (PRFM) demonstrated no real differences in healing in a tendon-to-bone rotator cuff repair. In fact, this preliminary analysis suggests that the PRFM, as used in this study, may have a negative effect on healing. However, this data should be viewed as preliminary, and further study is required” said study author, Scott Rodeo, MD of New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery.

79 patients were divided into a control group and PRFM group. All platients’ recovery routines included standard rehabilitation protocals. The tendon healing was evaluated at 6 and 12 week follow-ups using ultra-sound and shoulder strength measurements. Little difference was discovered among groups.

Potential reasons for the lack of healing response in PRFM group may be the way platelets were derived and concentrated, and mechanisms for the way PRFM reacts with tendon cells. Platelets are blood cells that help control bleeding and healing. Because platelets can be concentrated at various levels (thus, not all PRP is created equal), it is possible concentration levels were too low to have any enhanced healing effect.

“Additional research needs to be performed to figure out the mechanisms for why PRP is successful in healing certain areas of the body and not others. With more study we will continue to learn new procedures for improving orthopaedic surgery outcomes,” said Rodeo.

Press Release from AOSSM

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Platelet-Rich Plasma in The Boston Globe

Ethan Mascoop can again bowl after having PRP

This week The Boston Globe published an article titled “Pain Relief,” focusing on new medical treatments that may aid sports injuries. One case cited is 53-year-old Ethan Mascoop, whose partially torn Achilles hindered his active lifestyle. “Mascoop…had pretty much given up doing the things he loved most — going on long walks, working out at the gym, and candlepin bowling with his wife and son.” Three years ago, a slip on the Massachusetts winter ice tore Mascoop’s Achilles and physical therapy failed to reduce the pain in his leg. He opted for the less conventional Platelet-rich Plasma therapy (PRP) and within weeks, the pain in his leg had subsided. Mr. Mascoop began bowling again and planned a trip to the middle east.

The article goes on to say that an increasing number of baby boomers are experiencing injuries that never properly healed and became chronic, requiring surgery. Platelet-rich Plasma has emerged on the cutting-edge of medical treatment without any cutting required. While an increasing number of people like Mr. Mascoop, have turned to PRP for their soft-tissue tears and have had success, clinical studies have found inconsistent results. The majority of studies agree PRP is a completely safe treatment but its full efficacy and applications are not yet realized. Most studies conclude more extensive research is required to optimize the therapy’s effectiveness. For people like Mr. Mascoop, living in pain after failing conventional treatments, PRP may be just what is needed to help return quality of life.

Full Article Here

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24 Month Study Finds Platelet-Rich Plasma May be Effective in Knee Osteoarthritis

Study Conclusion

A recently published study in Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy by Kon et al, indicates Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) can reduce pain and improve knee function in patients with degenerative cartilage lesions and osteoarthritis of the knees. The study concluded that when PRP is injected into degenerative knees, it can improve quality of life with short-term efficacy.


91 patients were available for evaluation after 12 months, and 90 were evaluated 12 months later, at the study’s 2 year evaluation point. Because 24 patients had a bilateral lesion, 114 knees were treated. All patients had chronic degeneration and were treated with a series of 3 intra-articular, PRP injections. Through a variety of objective and subjective evaluations levels of pain, range of motion, complications and adverse events, and satisfaction levels, results were compiled.


Patients saw significant improvement in their knee conditions at the 12 month follow-up, but their 24 month evaluations indicted that conditions had worsened since. While 24 month evaluations indicated patients were in better shape than at the beginning of the study (basal levels), knee conditions had worsened between 12-24 months. Researchers found the median duration of clinical improvement was 9 months.


From a relative perspective, the size of this study is substantial, as a recently published study focusing on the same degenerative knee condition (authored by Steven Sampson D.O.) revolved around 13 patients at a 12 month evaluation point. The currentstudy by Kon et al, provides a larger sample size and more detailed results. In Dr. Sampson’s study, 8 patients expressed favorable treatment results at 12 month follow-up (61%). Kon et al saw similar subjective score percentages (60% expressing improvement at 12 month follow-up). Additionally, the Kon et al study’s objective observation scores (evaluating patient knee function relative to normally functioning knees) were a bit higher than subjective scores, with 67% of patients retaining nearly normal functions (function). Both objective and subjective scores dropped between 12-24 months (subjective scores to 51% and objective to 59%).

Because the study had no control group and patients were evaluated against their basal levels, it is impossible to fully determine to what extent these conditions would have improved on their own. Future studies could provide more accurate findings using a control group. The most important conclusion one can extract from this study: short term quality of life is improved with a series of intra-articular PRP injections to degenerative cartilage lesions of the knee, but further research is needed to determine how continual knee improvement can occur.

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