Platelet-rich plasma for zone II flexor tendon repair.

Kollitz KM, Parsons EM, Weaver MS, Huang JI.
Hand (N Y). 2014 Jun;9(2):217-24. doi: 10.1007/s11552-013-9583-9.

A team of researchers at the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine—led by faculty member, Jerry Huang, and visiting medical student Katie Kollitz —has evaluated the effect of Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on healing in a rabbit zone II flexor tendon model.  PRP has previously shown promise in the treatment of tendinopathy, including rotator cuff and lateral epicondylitis.

There were no significant differences in ultimate tensile strength between treatments at 2, 4, or 8 weeks. There was a trend towards lower tensile strength in the PRP group at 2 weeks. There was no statistically significant difference in excursion or range of motion between PRP and control tendons. Cell counts at 4 weeks were statistically significantly reduced in the PRP tendons as compared to controls. No difference in collagen content or maturity was detected.

In contrast to previous studies, PRP did not significantly improve ultimate tensile strength. PRP-treated tendons exhibited trends towards reduced healing, including a significant reduction in cell counts as well as a smaller increase in collagen deposition over time as compared to controls. Further study is needed to determine the precise effect of PRP on intrasynovial flexor tendon repairs.