Background We hypothesised that the application, production and administration of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) varies widely among sports physicians, bringing into question the validity and consistency of PRP described in research and clinical use. We also assessed congruence between the reported clinical indications for PRP, and the available research evidence for these indications.
Methods We conducted an anonymous 23 question online survey of 153 current Fellows of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians (ACSP), using an emailed link. It was opened from April 2014 until August 2014.
Results The survey confirmed that there is wide variation in the application, production and administration of PRP. Over one-third (38%) of sports physicians performed PRP injections themselves. Almost half of clinicians (49%) did not provide the service themselves, and only referred for PRP injections. The remaining clinicians did not inject PRP or refer for PRP injections at all. Clinicians who provided PRP injections varied from an average of 0–500 injections per month, with a median of 12 times per month. Australian sports physicians were far more likely to use PRP than their New Zealand counterparts. For sports physicians who provided or referred for PRP injections, tendinopathy was overwhelmingly cited (n=63) as the condition for which clinicians thought PRP was most effective. 30 respondents cited effectiveness for osteoarthritis.
Conclusions This study confirms that there is no clear consensus among sports physicians on the preparation, administration or best clinical indications for PRP.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma
- Sports & exercise medicine
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