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STUDY COMPARES PLATELET-RICH PLASMA TO PLACEBO FOR THE TREATMENT OF ANKLE OSTEOARTHRITIS
Vial of plasma

November 5, 2021 - Sports Illustrated recently reported that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott received platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for a calf injury. Proponents of PRP injections contend that injecting bloodborne cytokines and growth factors in and around damaged tendons and joints accelerates healing. Big-name professional athletes, including Tiger Woods and Steph Curry, have also reportedly received these treatments in the past.

While PRP injections may be popular among elite athletes, there is little evidence from well-done trials that they do anything. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared PRP injections to placebo injections in 100 patients with ankle osteoarthritis. The study found that the injections had no effect on ankle symptoms or function over 26 weeks (PRP injections for ankle OA). Several other placebo-controlled trials have also found that they have no effect on Achilles tendon rupture or Achilles tendonitis.

At $40 million+ a year, Dak has the money to waste on these treatments. Those of us who are less fortunate should save our cash and stick with physical therapy and time.


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