Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Platelet Rich Plasma Compared to Dry Needling

I have recently seen many young athletes with patellar tendonitis, or jumper's knee.  This type of injury is commonly seen in basketball players, soccer players, or other athletes that do a lot of jumping in their sports.  A common treatment for this injury typically involves physical therapy to strengthen the quads and sometimes rest.  Most of my athletes are not big fans of resting, and prefer some other form of treatment that will serve to return them to play more quickly.



After my last patient complained about wanting to be ready for basketball tryouts at school sooner, I decided to do some further research to see what might help him heal more quickly.  I found a good article on dry needling versus platelet rich plasma for treatment of patellar tendinopathy.

I chose this particular article, as it evaluated pain, activity levels, quality of life, and function.  All of these components are going to help an athlete get back to their sport sooner.  I then put in each variable, separately, into the Treatment Scores Calculator and the STAR™ Blocks.  As you can see below, dry needling actually is rated higher than PRP.



The above scores are based on a combination of the primary and the secondary statistics.  In both the dry needling and in the PRP groups, the patients improved with treatment.  Neither group had significant side effects from the treatment.  The reason the dry needling group ended up with a higher score is that the net treatment benefit was greater with dry needling.  Meaning, the people who underwent dry needling had less pain and improved function as compared to the PRP group.  As you can see, however, neither treatment had a complete resolution of symptoms.  

Treatment Scores enable us to quantify the net treatment benefit of different therapies for a variety of conditions.  Through this new, innovative technology, we will be able to compare the quality of treatments for any condition.


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