Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, has not been found to be definitely beneficial in the long run for any orthopaedic problem that I am aware of.  Many small studies with different amounts of therapy show constituent differences, i.e., products are separated out without good controls, have been published.  Prospective, randomized studies with regard to the technique for harvesting the PRP wherein the content of the PRP is identical have not been performed.  The same problem lies with use of stem cells.  There is a minimum study population size, i.e., the number of participants, and the minimum amount for statistical significance and a minimum amount of time really needs to be followed to know if it is really beneficial or not.

Chris Hyunchul Jo, M.D., et al. in Seoul, Korea, just published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery some very well-controlled research on allogeneic PRP for rotator cuff disease which means PCP taken from another human than that which is going to receive it, i.e., a human donor.  They did a very nice job in using the same substance, quantity, quality, etc., but a very poor job characterizing the patients that received the allogenic PRP, i.e., it is not clear that each one had the same problem.  Obviously, this study needs to be done again with a group of placebo-receiving patients and a larger number of patients need to be utilized.  The patients need careful x-ray and MRI, not just physical exam, to confirm the similarity of illness.  Plain x-rays were not offered on any of his studies.  This study is likely to give rise to more physicians who use PRP without adequate motivation to do so.  This is particularly problematic since it this is a very expensive technique.  Notably, however, Jo, et al. did not show complications in the patients they treated to the extent the study can be trusted.  They also gave better results in six months with allogenic PRP than they did corticosteroid injection for the first month.  More research and data please!