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I'm looking into the use of blood injection for my knee problem. I've heard there are lots of potential uses for this type of therapy. How about for an ACL tear?

Recently, a panel of 50 experts in the field of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment (also known as blood injection therapy got together to compare notes on what this treatment works for and what it doesn't help with. They made the following key observations:
  • PRP results are not consistent when used with chronic tendon problems. Four out of six large studies had a favorable report. Two did not.
  • PRP seems to work best when used along with other treatment such as physical therapy, rest, and antiinflammatory therapy.
  • PRP therapy seems to work best when applied to the middle of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tendon or ligament. Application of PRP close to the tendon attachment to the bone did not enhance healing or improve biomechanics of the knee.
  • Results of application to other ligaments and differing locations of that tendon (middle versus ends) have not been tested and reported.
  • Using PRP instead of bone graft material has not panned out either. If anything, PRP slows down and may even stop bone growth.
  • Evidence that PRP helps with fractures comes only from animal (not human) studies. Benefit in humans has yet to be demonsstrated. In the treatment of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, PRP isn't used alone. Instead, it has been used to augment (support) reconstruction surgery along with other treatments. The use of PRP in this way is still under investigation and not widely available but you can ask your orthopedic surgeon about his or her experience with PRP as a starting place for further discussion about ways to approach your ACL problem.

  • References:

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