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PRP therapy improves degenerative tendon disease in athletes
Date:12/1/2013

CHICAGO Ultrasound-guided delivery of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) improves functionality and reduces recovery time in athletes with degenerative disease in their tendons, according to a study being presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

PRP therapy is a recent development in which blood is collected from the patient and then spun in a centrifuge to separate the PRP from other blood components. The PRP is then injected under ultrasound guidance into the target area, where it stimulates cellular growth and healing.

The therapy has grown popular among professional athletes from a variety of sports, who are looking to avoid surgery or prolonged recovery periods. Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant and Rafael Nadal are just a few sports superstars who are reported to have undergone PRP therapy in recent years.

"PRP enables regeneration of the tendons and reduction of pain thanks to its regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties," said study author Alice La Marra, M.D., radiology resident at the University of L'Aquila in L'Aquila, Italy.

Dr. La Marra and colleagues recently evaluated PRP in 50 athletes who had degenerative tendinosis in the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, and 30 who had tendinosis in the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shin bone. Tendinosis is common in athletes and is caused by a repeating cycle of damage and repair. The Achilles and patellar tendons are common sites of tendinosis.

The patients underwent ultrasound-guided PRP every 21 days for a total of three treatments. MRI was performed before the procedures and 30 days and one year after the last treatment. The researchers used standard measures of functionality and pain to determine the severity of the tendinosis.

Patients with tendinosis of the Achilles tendon saw an overall improvement of 80 percent in pain and 53 percent in fun
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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