Updated: Feb 22
As of this writing (December 2022) there are now a total of 10 Meta-Analyses showing the Superiority of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) over other injections for Knee Osteoarthritis! This is a HUGE body of evidence proving that as of today PRP is the Best Proven Treatment for Knee Arthritis.
Perhaps the best of these 10 Meta-Analyses is by Dr. Tan and colleagues and was published in the Orthopedic Journal, Arthroscopy in 2021. It was a VERY WELL DONE study using the Cochrane methodology- considered the best in the business. The study included 26 Level 1 Randomized Controlled Studies with 2430 patients and is considered Level 1 evidence- the highest level of evidence obtainable and the level of evidence that means we as physicians should CHANGE OUR PRACTICE in response to the data.
Here is the article:
Tan J, Chen H, Zhao L, Huang W. Platelet-Rich Plasma Versus Hyaluronic Acid in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-analysis of 26 Randomized Controlled Trials. Arthroscopy. 2021 Jan;37(1):309-325. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2020.07.011. Epub 2020 Jul 15. PMID: 32679294.
Here's a link to the abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32679294/
In the study they showed that PRP is superior to Hyaluronic Acid (HA) injections on multiple various validated scoring systems including the WOMAC, IKDC, VAS, Tegner and Lequesne, among others.
While the data showing the superiority of PRP over other injections including saline, corticosteroids (cortisone shots) and HA has existed for many years now, it is nice to see it being published in an orthopedic surgical journal with the HIGHEST level of evidence that can be demonstrated.
The debate is over. The answers are in. PRP is currently the BEST PROVEN treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis we have studied. We look forward to future studies comparing PRP to Bone Marrow and Microfragmented Adipose Tissue grafts, but for now the question "Is PRP effective for Knee Osteoarthrits" is settled with an overwhelming "Yes".