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The effect of platelet-rich plasma gel in the early phase of patellar tendon healing

Dimitris N Lyras, Konstantinos Kazakos, Dionysios Verettas, Sotirios Botaitis, George Agrogiannis, Anna Kokka, Michail Pitiakoudis, Athanasios Kotzakaris
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2009, 129 (11): 1577-82
19621231

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study is to assess if an application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) gel would improve the mechanical properties of rabbit's patellar tendon after resecting its central portion.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty skeletally mature New Zealand White rabbits were used. Two groups ten rabbits each (PRP and control group) were used to evaluate mechanical properties and histology after 14 days and two groups ten rabbits each (PRP and control groups) were used to evaluate mechanical properties and histology after 28 days.

RESULTS: At 14 days, PRP group showed a 72.2% increase in force at failure, a 39.1% increase in ultimate stress, and a 53.1% increase in stiffness, as compared with controls. These changes were statistically significant (P < 0.05). At 28 days, there was no longer any significant difference between PRP and control groups (P > 0.05).

DISCUSSION: In our study, the mechanical properties of the regenerated tendon in the PRP group were significantly improved in relation to the control group. It appears that PRP has a strong effect in the early phase of tendon healing. This effect is probably due to the growth factors that are released from the platelets during activation.

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