A systematic review and meta-analysis of the application of platelet rich plasma in sports medicine
Introduction: In recent years, platelet rich plasma (PRP) has been receiving increasing attention for the treatment of soft tissue injuries. These numerous applications have raised a great deal of questions and debate about the effectiveness of this method. This study aimed to determine the efficacy of PRP in improving sports injuries and subsequently throw some light on these controversies.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis of results were undertaken. All related databases, such as PubMed, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, DARE, and EMBASE, were searched on the use of PRP on athletes and in sports medicine. The search was conducted from June 2013 to February 2014.
Results: Our search retrieved 905 studies, of which 13 randomized control trials (RCT) met our inclusion criteria for systematic review and meta-analysis. All articles were appraised by Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) checklist for RCT studies. The analysis of the results of pain scores and physical activity/functions did not show any superiority for PRP as opposed to the other options.
Conclusions: The meta-analysis showed no more effectiveness for PRP application in sports-related injuries in terms of physical function improvement and pain relief. Therefore, the extensive use of PRP for such injuries should be limited. Well-designed RCTs are needed to support the findings.