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Effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Pain and Muscle Strength in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis

Wu, Yung-Tsan, MD; Hsu, Kao-Chih, MD; Li, Tsung-Ying, MD; Chang, Cheng-Kuang, MD; Chen, Liang-Cheng, MD, MS

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: April 2018 - Volume 97 - Issue 4 - p 248–254
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000874
Original Research Articles
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Objective No studies comparing the effects of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection and placebo injection in bilateral knee osteoarthritis in the same patient, or discussing muscle strength after PRP injection, have been published.

Design Twenty patients with bilateral knee osteoarthritis were eligible, and 40 knees were randomized into two groups: PRP (knees [right or left by a coin toss] receiving a single intra-articular PRP injection) and saline group (the contralateral knee of the same patient, into which single 4-mL intra-articular injection of normal saline was administered). The primary outcome measure was Western Ontario and McMaster's Universities Osteoarthritis Index and the secondary included isokinetic test results. The evaluation was at baseline and at 2 wks, 1, 3, and 6 mos after injection.

Results The PRP group showed a significant reduction in the Western Ontario and McMaster's Universities Osteoarthritis Index pain and total scores compared with normal saline group (P < 0.05). Although a significantly greater percentage of knee strength (extensor > flexor) was found in the PRP group during a longer follow-up period, PRP treatment resulted in insignificant differences in muscle strength compared with normal saline.

Conclusions Platelet-rich plasma treatment significantly improves pain, stiffness, and disability in patients with knee osteoarthritis compared with normal saline treatment. Additional strength training is recommended to enhance muscle strength recovery.

From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tri-Service General Hospital, School of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China (Y-TW, K-CH, T-YL, L-CC); Integrated Pain Management Center, Tri-Service General Hospital, School of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China (Y-TW, T-YL); and Department of Radiology, Tri-Service General Hospital, School of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China (C-KC).

All correspondence should be addressed to: Liang-Cheng Chen, MD, MS, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tri-Service General Hospital, School of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, No. 325, Sec. 2, Cheng-Kung Road, Neihu District, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

The study is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, Republic of China (Grant Number MOST 104-2314-B-016-050).

The research, article, or abstract was not presented in any form anywhere.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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