Background

Platelet-rich-plasma is increasingly used in chronic patellar tendinopathy. Ideal number of PRP injections needed is not yet established. This study compares the clinical outcomes of a single versus two consecutive PRP injections.

Method

Between December 2009 and January 2012, 40 athletes with proximal patellar tendinopathy were treated by PRP injection. Patients received single (20 patients) or two PRP injections 2 weeks apart (20 patients). All patients underwent prospective clinical evaluation, including Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Patella (VISA-P) score, visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, and Tegner scale before PRP and after a minimum of 2 year follow-up.

Results

9 patients failed PRP treatment and needed surgery. 1 patient was lost to follow-up. For the remaining patients, the VISA-P, VAS, and Tegner scores all significantly improved from 35.2 to 78.5 (p = 0.0001), 6.6 to 2.4 (p = 0.0001), and 4.8 to 6.9 (p = 0.0003). Patients who received two injections had better scores than those who received single injection with VAS of 1.07 versus 3.7 (p = 0.0005), Tegner score of 8.1 versus 5.9 (p = 0.0003) and VISA-P of 93.2 versus 65.7 (p = 0.0001).

Conclusions

Two consecutive PRP injections in chronic patellar tendinopathy showed better improvement in outcomes when compared to single injection.

Level of evidence

randomized prospective consecutive series, Level 2.

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