BACKGROUND: Evidence on the effect of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in treating osteoarthritis (OA) is insufficient. Therefore, the present study compares the effects of a one-time injection of PRP and corticosteroid (CS).
METHODS: In the present randomized double blind clinical trial, the participants who suffered from knee osteoarthritis (Grades II/III), were randomly divided into two groups: intra articular injection of PRP and CS. Knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS), the 20-Meter-Walk Test (20MW), active and passive ranges of motions (ROM), flexion contracture, and pain intensity based on Visual Analog Scale (VAS) were assessed before, 2-months, and 6-months after interventions.
RESULTS: Forty-one participants (48 knees) were involved in the research (66.7% women; average age of 61.1±7.0 years old). Compared to the group treated with corticosteroid, pain relief (df: 6, 35; F=11.0; P=0.007), symptom free (df:6, 35; F=23.0; P<0.001), activities of daily living (ADL) (df:6, 35; F=10.7; P=0.005) and quality of life (df:6, 35; F=5.2; P=0.02) in the RPR group were significantly higher, but sporting ability was not different between the two groups (df: 6, 35; F=0.6; P=0.55). PRP was significantly more helpful for relieving patients’ pain (VAS) compared to corticosteroids (df: 6, 35; F=32.0; P=0.001). It is also notable that using PRP was more helpful in improving the 20MW test than corticosteroid treatment (df: 6, 35; F=7.4; P=0.04) but none of the treatments had any impact on active flexion ROM، passive flexion ROM and flexion contracture (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that one shot of PRP injection, decreased joint pain more and longer-term, alleviated the symptoms, and enhanced the activity of daily living and quality of life in short-term duration in comparison with CS.