No benefit from PRP treatment for patients with debilitating
Patients with Achilles tendinopathy, a disease of the Achilles tendon that can potentially cause significant pain, receive no benefit from being treated with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, a clinical trial has found.

In adults with midportion Achilles tendinopathy, the objective was to assess the effects of a single platelet-rich plasma injection, compared with sham injection, on the outcome of the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Achilles (VISA-A) score (a single composite measure of Achilles tendinopathy severity).

A participant-blinded, multicenter randomized clinical trial that included 240 people from 24 sites assigned to either a platelet-rich plasma injection or a sham injection. Participants were older than 18 years with midportion Achilles tendon pain for more than 3 months as confirmed by ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, or both.

Among 240 patients assigned to a platelet-rich plasma or sham injection, 221 completed the trial.

- At 6-month follow-up, mean VISA-A score values in the plasma-rich plasma group vs the sham injection group were 54.4 vs 53.4.

- The most common adverse events compared between patients in the platelet-rich plasma group vs the sham group were injection site discomfort, swelling, and bruising.

Among patients with chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy, treatment with a single injection of intratendinous platelet-rich plasma, compared with subcutaneous dry needle insertion, did not reduce Achilles tendon dysfunction at 6 months.