New Study Demonstrates Potential Benefit of PRP to Muscle Strains

New Study Demonstrates Potential Benefit of PRP to Muscle Strains

A group of researchers at University Hospital of Parma in Italy collaborated to demonstrate potential benefit of PRP application to muscle strains.

Drs. Gernuzzi, Petraglia, Pedrini, De Fillipo, Pogliacomi, Verdano, and Constantino have recruited a total of 53 patients who had an acute muscle tear of various muscles in their university emergency room. Patients recruited were all recreational athletes in different sports such as volleyball, soccer, basketball, and dancing.

Ultrasound was used to grade the tear, and only grade II (moderate) tear was recruited for the study and they all received PRP injections under ultrasound guidance for a total of 3 times, one week apart of each other. The study demonstrated these patients treated with PRP demonstrated clinically meaningful improvement in pain scale (as measured by visual analogue scale of pain), improvement in visual characteristic on ultrasound, and 100% of patients returned to their regular sporting activity within 30 days of the last injection. Only one patient experienced a relapse of the injury by one year follow up.

This study was unique in that it looked at the efficacy of PRP application to acute muscle injuries whereas most PRP studies have investigated its application to chronic tendinous / ligamentous injuries or cartilage lesions.
Time to improvement in this study was also unique. Most chronic tendinous injuries have been reported to have much slower response to PRP (weeks to months), this study has suggested muscular application of PRP may result in faster resolution of pain and recovery of function.

While this study suggested safety and potential benefit to PRP application to acute, moderate muscle tears, further study is warranted to compare PRP with conventional conservative treatment (a design known as a randomized control trial), and also, future studies should investigate the effect of PRP per different muscle types.

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Use of platelet-rich plasma in the care of sports injuries: our…

 2013 Jul 3:1-6. doi: 10.2450/2013.0293-12. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of platelet-rich plasma in the care of sports injuries: our experience with ultrasound-guided injection.


Immunohaematology and Transfusion Centre, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy.



Platelet-rich plasma is being used more frequently to promote healing of muscle injuries. The growth factors contained in platelet-rich plasma accelerate physiological healing processes and the use of these factors is simple and minimally invasive. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of ultrasound-guided injection of platelet-rich plasma in muscle strains and the absence of side effects.


Fifty-three recreational athletes were enrolled in the study. The patients were recruited from the Emergency Room in the University Hospital at Parma according to a pre-defined protocol. Every patient was assessed by ultrasound imaging to evaluate the extent and degree of muscle injuries. Only grade II lesions were treated with three ultrasound-guided injections of autologous platelet-rich plasma every 7 days. Platelet concentrate was produced according to standard methods, with a 10% variability in platelet count. The platelet gel for clinical use was obtained by adding thrombin to the concentrates under standardised conditions. Outcomes assessed were: pain reduction, muscle function recovery and return to sports activity, ultrasound-imaging tissue healing, relapses, local infections, and any side effect during the treatment.


In all cases muscle lesions healed fully on ultrasound-imaging, the pain disappeared, and muscle function recovery was documented with a return to sports activity. A single patient had a relapse 1 year after treatment.


Platelet-rich plasma injected into the injury site is one of the most important factors rendering the treatment effective. To maximise its efficacy the preliminary ultrasound must be done accurately to localise the lesion and guide the needle into the corresponding lesion. According to the current results, which document full muscle recovery and no relapse except for one case, platelet-rich plasma ultrasound-guided injection represents a valid mini-invasive treatment for muscle injuries.




[PubMed – as supplied by publisher] 

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