Emerging research suggests that platelet rich plasma injections have the potential to fully heal torn tendons, and its efficacy appears to be comparable to surgical interventions. I’m going to use the latest clinical trial evidence to show you why everyone is choosing PRP treatments.
Previously, surgery was the only option to repair torn tendons. But now, platelet rich plasma injections offer an exciting alternative with faster recoveries, reduced downtime, and accelerated healing of tendon tears. Two recent clinical studies have shown some fascinating results: PRP injections do more than just alleviate pain and reduce symptoms, they can actually facilitate the complete healing of tendon tears.
Researchers from this study performed ultrasound-guided tendon debridement followed by either PRP injections or a saline placebo. Remarkably, 87% of the PRP-treated group experienced a reduction in tear size by the six-month mark with 79% achieving complete healing. On the other hand, the saline placebo group showed just 32% of tears decreasing in size with only 21% reaching full healing.
This study compared the results of PRP injections to surgical repair for partial tears of the rotator cuff. They found that people who got PRP had a 96% success rate. Both PRP and surgery exhibited similar improvements from baseline through the 2-year follow-up period. More importantly, the PRP group had no complications, whereas two people in the surgical group developed frozen shoulders.
The researchers concluded that #1 both PRP injections and surgical repair are equally effective for treating high-grade partial-thickness tears of the rotator cuff. More importantly, #2, they highlight that the PRP group had significantly faster recovery times and shorter periods of downtime, allowing for quicker resumption of pain-free and unrestricted shoulder activity.
So, what do these findings mean for you? PRP injections are emerging as a compelling nonsurgical treatment option, with clinical studies increasingly demonstrating their efficacy. It’s well established that PRP outperforms common treatments like cortisone injections for various conditions such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and knee osteoarthritis.
However, the verdict was still out when it came to tendon tears. Up until now, there wasn't concrete evidence to suggest that PRP could actually repair torn tissue. But these recent studies show that PRP can indeed promote healing. And while these findings still need to be replicated in larger clinical trials, if they hold up, they could be a game changer. PRP can provide surgical-level results without the associated risks or downtime.
Now I want to quickly point out that these promising results are for people with partial to high grade tendon tears. For those dealing with full thickness complete tears where the tendon fibers have retracted, surgery remains the option of choice.