Gosens T, Peerbooms JC, van Laar W, den Oudsten BL. Ongoing Positive Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma Versus Corticosteroid Injection in Lateral Epicondylitis: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial With 2-year Follow-up [In Process Citation] Am J Sports Med (United States), Jun 2011, 39(6) p1200-8.
DR. REEVES’ NOTES:
This randomized controlled trial, of moderate size, demonstrated that a single injection of steroid is comparable in benefit to a single injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) but that results were positive for only months for steroids. Benefit from PRP was able to be demonstrated at 2 year followup. Thus PRP has more potential benefit for long term benefit than steroid injection for tennis elbow.
Below is a copy of the abstract:
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been shown to be a general stimulation for repair and 1-year results showed promising success percentages.
This trial was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of PRP compared with corticosteroid injections in patients with chronic lateral epicondylitis with a 2-year follow-up.
Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.
The trial was conducted in 2 Dutch teaching hospitals. One hundred patients with chronic lateral epicondylitis were randomly assigned to a leukocyte-enriched PRP group (n = 51) or the corticosteroid group (n = 49). Randomization and allocation to the trial group were carried out by a central computer system. Patients received either a corticosteroid injection or an autologous platelet concentrate injection through a peppering needling technique. The primary analysis included visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) outcome scores.
The PRP group was more often successfully treated than the corticosteroid group (P < .0001). Success was defined as a reduction of 25% on VAS or DASH scores without a reintervention after 2 years. When baseline VAS and DASH scores were compared with the scores at 2-year follow-up, both groups significantly improved across time (intention-to-treat principle). However, the DASH scores of the corticosteroid group returned to baseline levels, while those of the PRP group significantly improved (as-treated principle). There were no complications related to the use of PRP. CONCLUSION:
Treatment of patients with chronic lateral epicondylitis with PRP reduces pain and increases function significantly, exceeding the effect of corticosteroid injection even after a follow-up of 2 years. Future decisions for application of PRP for lateral epicondylitis should be confirmed by further follow-up from this trial and should take into account possible costs and harms as well as benefits.