• Adam Whatley

Efficiency of platelet‐rich plasma (PRP) treatment for sports injuries in young athletes.

Sports Injury Treatment Birmingham

Efficiency of platelet‐rich plasma (PRP) therapy for healing sports injuries in young athletes


PRP treatment in young athletes

There are many common types of sports injuries, for joint tissue strain to joint injury to chronic tendinopathy. Among sports injuries, the knee joint is very common, with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and meniscus injuries of the knee joint structures that can be very difficult to treat due to reduced healing abilities. Due to the high involvement of these structures in the knee mobility and stability, injuries here often prove a challenge and can greatly effect return to sport.


Biological techniques , such as platelet‐rich plasma (PRP), mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), collagen products or hyaluronic acid, as a primary treatment or as an enhancement treatment, have gained increasing popularity over the years. Thus, in efforts of facilitating repair and healing. New procedures have been designed and perfected to enhance the cell productivity and, therefore, the tissue repair in various areas of the knee, such as ligaments or meniscal tissue. Recently, young individuals involved in professional or recreational athletics have increased considerably.


PRP is an autologous blood product containing a cocktail of high potency growth factors, which have provided beneficial effects on tissue healing and repair. Recently, PRP has become a popular choice for injury and tissue repair, in both musculoskeletal medicine and aesthetic medicine as it is simple, safe and effective. In terms of orthopedics and sports medicine, it has shown promising results on pain relief in both in vivo and in vitro models. Scientists are now trying to establish further understanding of how this unique biological method is providing success.


The meniscus is a fibrocartilaginous structure that has a key functional role in weight‐bearing, stability, compressive force distribution, congruity, joint lubrication and proprioception. Degenerative osteoarthritic changes following on from meniscectomy surgery emphasise the importance of preserving or repairing these important structures, to maintain the normal knee function.

When analysing the clinical outcome of meniscal injuries, the blood supply of this tissue is a significant factor. Shortly after birth, the meniscus within the knee joint is fully vascularised. With time, this important blood supply reduces - by the age of 10, only 10‐30% of the meniscus is vascularised, and at maturity, only 10‐25% of the peripheral tissue contains blood vessels. One of the reasons for such poor healing is due to this reduced blood supply, hence the need for biological enhancement.

Meniscus Injuries range from grade 1 to grade 4, depending on severity of damage. Grade 1 is often dealt with conservatively vie physical therapy and rehabilitation. Grade 2 can often be dealt with conservatively, with the addition of biological enhancement, platelet rich plasma (PRP), to facilitate repair and heating. Grade 3 biological enhancement with the varying possibility of surgery. Grade 4 surgery. The meniscus and the ACL play a very important role together.


ACL plays a very important role in stability and normal biomechanics of the knee. Injuries are frequently associated with instability and further injury. Furthermore, patients with long term ACL lesions have the risk of developing degenerative changes in the knee cartilage. Although reconstruction is currently the gold standard for ACL lesions, this procedure is associated with many complications that can inevitably affect return to sports. This should also be taken into account when addressing young patients.


Due to young patients requiring a different approach, there is a constant design of new protocols, with literature suggesting benefit of the use of biologics, such as PRP, in terms of pain relief, joint stability improvement and resuming of physical activity. As regards ACL injury repair - PRP research is still developing. But so far shows very promising outcomes in regards to recovery, pain reduction and functional improvement. In terms of meniscal healing, numerous studies have acknowledged that PRP injections can provide an improved clinical outcome in cases where a standard conservative approach has been unsuccessful.

In conclusion, PRP is a safe minimally invasive treatment, efficient for young recreational athletes, contributing to the resuming of sports at three months after the initial trauma. Meniscal or ACL tears in adolescents can benefit from PRP in pain relief and resuming of sports. Grade 2 ACL lesions have an improved response with PRP therapy than partial meniscal tears in terms of pain relief. PRP is a safe, minimally invasive treatment method, without side effects. PRP is used for not only pain relief but to preserve cartilage health and maintain full function. In our clinical experience, it would always be used alongside appropriate physical therapy and rehabilitation. Hyaluronic acid injections also play a part in joint lubrication and cartilage preservation.




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Don’t let pain, joint damage, sports injuries or arthritis get in the way of allowing you to do what you want. Schedule a consultation at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine today, and let us treat your condition, provide pain relief and get you back to your full and active lifestyle. We have clinics operating out of Solihull (Henley-In-Arden) and Birmingham (Edgbaston).


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