Does platelet-rich plasma decrease time to return to sports in acute muscle tear? A randomized controlled trial
Purpose: The aim of this study is to report the effects of autologous PRP injections on time to return to play and recurrence rate after acute grade 2 muscle injuries in recreational and competitive athletes.
Methods: Seventy-five patients diagnosed with acute muscle injuries were randomly allocated to autologous PRP therapy combined with a rehabilitation programme or a rehabilitation programme only. The primary outcome of this study was time to return to play. In addition, changes in pain severity and recurrence rates were evaluated.
Results: Patients in the PRP group achieved full recovery significantly earlier than controls (P = 0.001). The mean time to return to play was 21.1 ± 3.1 days and 25 ± 2.8 days for the PRP and control groups, respectively (P = 0.001). Significantly lower pain severity scores were observed in the PRP group throughout the study. The difference in the recurrence rate after 2-year-follow-up was not statistically significant between groups.
Conclusions: A single PRP injection combined with a rehabilitation programme significantly shortened time to return to sports compared to a rehabilitation programme only. Recurrence rate was not significantly different between groups.