Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy (PRP) is known to stimulate healing and healthy tissue regeneration. It is an excellent treatment option for orthopedic injuries and conditions which have traditionally required surgery. It’s amazing to see how regenerative therapy is showing the ability to repair bones, soft tissue and even tendons.
Achilles tendon injuries are among the common injuries seen by sports medicine physicians. In the U.S. alone, over 230,000 cases are noted per year. Although Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the body, each of them may be subject to up to 3-12 times a person’s body weight during a sprint or push off.
The most common Achilles tendon injuries are Achilles tendinosis and Achilles tendon rupture (full or partial). Treatment includes ice, rest, muscle strengthening and physical therapies. In more severe cases, complete immobilization and even surgery may be needed.
A study supported by the Swedish Research Council Project 2031 in 2004, looked at the possibility of using platelet concentrate (also known as PRP) to aid the repair process of Achilles tendon.
In the study, an injection of platelet concentrate was given to rats that had a 3 mm segment of Achilles tendon removed. The rats then received one single local injection of platelet concentrate 6 hours postoperatively. After one week, tendon callus strength and stiffness increased by about 30%, and the results persisted for as long as 3 weeks after the injection. Mechanical testing also showed an improvement in material characteristics—i.e., greater maturation of the tendon callus.
The result indicated that platelet concentrate, which releases a cocktail of the growth factors, may prove useful for the treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures.
Many clinical studies have also reported that platelet concentrate has a good effect on bone and soft tissue repair. The growth factors aid the repair and regeneration of the injured body parts. We will surely see more and more clinical applications in the future.
To read the research publication, please click here: