The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus are intra-articular structures that have an inadequate healing capacity. Due to the high involvement of these structures in the knee mobility and stability, injuries at this site have always posed a challenge, with multiple treatment protocols that have been modified throughout the years.
Use of Biological Products
Biological products, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), collagen products, or hyaluronic acid, have gained popularity due to their regenerative capabilities to repair tissues such as ligaments or meniscal tissue.
PRP is an autologous blood product that contains various growth factors that have beneficial effects on cell proliferation and differentiation, extracellular matrix production, cell migration, chemotaxis, and angiogenesis.
In a recently published study, researchers conducted an observational study, in which 72 young recreational athletes who have been diagnosed with grade 2 meniscal injury (graded using MRI), that benefited from PRP therapy as an enhancement of the primary treatment, after cast immobilization.
The participants of the study were between 11 and 17 years old. 55 patients were diagnosed with a grade 2 meniscal injury and 17 with a grade 2 ACL lesion. All of them underwent PRP therapy after cast immobilization.
Pain at the start of the study had a mean of 7.81 before the PRP procedure, while at 1-month follow-up had a mean of 2.22.
60 of the 72 patients (83.3%) were able to return to practice sports 1 month after the PRP treatment. All patients were followed-up every six months for a total of 2 years. No local side effects or worsening of symptoms were reported.
The study revealed that PRP therapy is a safe, easy-to-manage treatment, efficient for pain relief, and helps return faster to physical activity after partial meniscal or ACL tears in young athletes.
At our clinic, we combine the use of this incredible treatment with a stronger biologic, mesenchymal stem cells, which have shown a greater regenerative capacity when compared to PRP. We use them in combination to have a more effective therapy for multiple joint and musculoskeletal conditions with excellent results.
Herdea A, Struta A, Derihaci RP, Ulici A, Costache A, Furtunescu F, Toma A, Charkaoui A. Efficiency of platelet-rich plasma therapy for healing sports injuries in young athletes. Exp Ther Med. 2022 Mar;23(3):215. doi: 10.3892/etm.2022.11139. Epub 2022 Jan 11. PMID: 35126718; PMCID: PMC8796279.