Through a prospective, double-bind and randomized control study, the objective was to determine whether single injections of autologous Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) into symptomatic degenerative invertebral disks will improve participant-reported pain and function.
Participants include adults with moderate-to-severe lower back pain pain lasting six months or longer and that is unresponsive to traditional orthopedic treatment. They were randomized to receive intradiskal PRP or contrast agent after provocative discography. Data on pain, physical function and participant satisfaction were collected at one week, four weeks, eight weeks, six months and one year. If participants in the control group did not improve at the eight-week mark, they were offered the option to begin receiving PRP and then followed.
After analyzing 47 participants, the results show that over the eight weeks of follow-up there were overall significant improvements in participants who received intradiskal PRP with regards to pain, function and patient satisfaction, compared to those in the control group. There were no events of disk space infection, neurologic injury or progressive herniation were reported following the PRP injections.
Those who received PRP continued to maintain significant improvements in their function ratings through at last one year of follow-up. These results are promising, but further studies are still needed to define the specific participants that are most likely to respond to this treatment and the ideal cellular characteristics of the injectate.
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