Biological treatment of the knee with platelet-rich plasma or bone marrow aspirate concentrates
Knee pathologies including focal cartilage injuries, osteoarthritis and ligament injuries are common. The use of biologic agents has emerged as an option for treating these diseases. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has gained significant interest for treating common sports medicine injuries. Intra-articular PRP injections for the treatment of focal chondral defects and early mild to moderate osteoarthritis have been reported to reduce pain, while also improving range of motion and quality of life. Despite these promising results, most of the literature has reported PRP to be beneficial only for a short period of time. In summary, several clinical studies have reported improvements in patient-reported outcomes and a significant reduction in pain scores following PRP treatment in damaged tissue, including tendons and early osteoarthritis. The use of bone marrow aspirate concentrate has also gained recent interest. Encouraging results have been presented also for patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis, demonstrating that BMAC injections improved functional activity scores and pain scores. The authors concluded that although several studies have shown promising results, more high-quality studies are needed for a better understanding of the effects.