Traditional methods of managing knee pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA) include anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and surgery. In the past decade, researchers have examined whether injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be used to manage OA of the knee.
Despite its use, there has been conflicting evidence about the effectiveness of PRP in treating knee OA. A recent meta-analysis from 2017 reviewed 14 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1,423 participants. It found that PRP appears to be effective in managing pain associated with knee OA. Researchers noted that, compared with placeboes, PRP injections significantly reduced pain scores at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-ups. And compared with controls, PRP significantly improved physical function at these follow-ups. The study did not see a significant improvement in postinjection adverse events.
While those results are promising, 10 of the 14 studies in the meta-analysis were at high risk of bias and 4 were at moderate risk of bias. More studies are needed to determine the efficacy of using RPR to manage pain from OA of the knee.
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