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PRP use in sport and exercise medicine: be wary of science becoming the sham
  1. Jon Patricios1,
  2. Kimberly G Harmon2,
  3. Jonathan Drezner3
  1. 1Wits Sport and Health (WiSH), School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. 2Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  3. 3Center for Sports Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jon Patricios, Wits Sport and Health (WiSH), School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand Faculty of Health Sciences, Johannesburg 2050, Gauteng, South Africa; jpat{at}mweb.co.za

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Sport and exercise medicine (SEM) is a fast-evolving discipline that relies on good science to guide best practice. An area that has garnered great interest among SEM clinicians and patients is the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as a clinical intervention. PRP is increasingly used in a range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries that are often unresponsive to standard therapies. PRP’s biological profile and accompanying minimal side effects make it an especially appealing modality. In several countries, it is also easily accessible for both doctor and patient and relatively affordable. However, as is often the case in medicine, and for a combination of these reasons, the use of PRP in many clinical scenarios has outstripped the science supporting its efficacy.

One such condition is chronic Achilles tendinopathy, where studies investigating the use of PRP have resulted in conflicting results with insufficient definitive guidance.1–3 To allow us to understand the efficacy of PRP in Achilles tendinopathy we require high-quality, well-controlled interventional studies peer reviewed by expert, experienced clinician–scientists and published in reputable journals. The recent study by Kearney et al, ‘Effect of …

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