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Month: January 2016

Intradiscal Lumbar Platelet Rich Plasma Injections for Low Back Pain

Several anecdotal and case reports have previously appeared in the literature regarding the intradiscal use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for low back pain.

Within the last 6 weeks, two recent studies have been published evaluating the use of Platelet-Rich Plasma in the treatment of low back. Tuakli-Wosornu YA et al (PMR 2016) looked at single injections of PRP into symptomatic degenerated lumbar discs in 47 patients. This was a prospective, blinded randomized controlled study. Data collected included pain, physical function, and patient satisfaction scores at initial visit and up to 1 year. The authors did utilize validated outcome measures. After 8 weeks of follow-up, statistically significant improvements were seen in pain scores, function scores, and patient satisfaction. No adverse events were reported. Methodologically, this was a well-planned and reported study, however, outcomes between the PRP treatment group and controls were only measured out to 8 weeks.

In another recent study by Levi D et al (Pain Med 2015), 22 patients received intradiscal PRP for chronic discogenic low back pain. This was a prospective trial evaluating a one injection protocol. Outcomes were based on Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores and Visual Analog Scores (VAS). Clinical success was defined if a patient achieved at least 50% improvement in both the ODI and VAS scores. After 1 month, 14% had achieved clinical success. This number grew to 47% at the 6 month mark.

Again, these results are encouraging but more well controlled trials with larger number of patients and longer follow-up periods is needed to fully evaluate the effectiveness of this treatment.

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