Platelet-rich Plasma Injections for Osteoarthritis: How Effective Are They?

Platelet-rich plasma, in theory, seems like a logical and potentially beneficial treatment for osteoarthritis. Our pain expert reviews 2 recent studies that are telling.

Despite the limited amount of quality studies supporting their use, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are increasingly being used for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA).

Because the injections use the patient’s own blood product, the treatment is considered to be safe. PRP contains several agents including growth factors and cytokines that might affect the disease process occurring in OA.

Two recent studies, one on the use of PRP for knee OA and the other for ankle OA, call the efficacy of the therapy into question.