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Platelet-rich plasma in orthopaedic sports medicine: state of the art
  1. Giuseppe Milano1,
  2. Mikel Sánchez2,3,
  3. Chris H Jo4,
  4. Maristella F Saccomanno5,
  5. Bhavani P Thampatty6,
  6. James H-C Wang6
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedics, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
  2. 2 Advanced Biological Therapy Unit-UTBA, USP La Esperanza Clinic, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
  3. 3 Arthroscopic Surgery Unit, Hospital Vithas San José, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
  4. 4 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  5. 5 Departmentof Orthopaedics, University Hospital A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  6. 6 MechanoBiology Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Prof Giuseppe Milano, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Brescia, Brescia, BS, Italy; giuseppe.milano{at}


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is one of the many new developments within the expanding field of regenerative medicine. It aims to improve the process of tissue repair through local delivery of autologous bioactive agents to influence critical physiological mechanisms such as inflammation, angiogenesis or extracellular matrix synthesis. Within orthopaedics and sports medicine, the use of PRP has been rapidly increasing in popularity as patients seek non-surgical approaches to acute and chronic musculoskeletal injury and disease. The popularity of this new treatment option has prompted a rapid increase in research endeavours. Although preclinical studies were encouraging, clinical studies often reported controversial results. The differences in the composition and application techniques of PRP have made comparisons regarding its efficacy difficult and somehow inconclusive. Although PRP appears to be a safe treatment option with potentially beneficial effects to injured musculoskeletal tissues, continuous efforts are needed to identify factors that influence the biological response to PRP treatment. It is likely that in the near future the PRP preparation will be tailored not only to the specific pathology of interest but also to stage of disease. However, the growing emphasis on an evidence-based approach in the sports medicine setting demands additional research efforts before incorporating this technology in routine clinical care. The current review explores the latest findings on PRP efficacy in several musculoskeletal conditions, focusing on results of the highest level of evidence available.

  • sports medicine research
  • biologics
  • tendon
  • ligament
  • muscle

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  • Contributors GM conceived the idea behind the manuscript, supervised the work and corrected the various draft. MS, CHJ, MFS, BPT and JH-CW performed the literature searches, analysed the data and wrote the first draft. All the authors read and approved the final draft of this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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