Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction with Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Systematic Review of Randomized Control Trials

PURPOSE:

To perform a systematic review of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to augment anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

METHODS:

Two independent reviewers screened the MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library, and EMBASE databases using Preferred Reporting for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines for applicable RCTs evaluating the efficacy of PRP in ACL reconstruction. A meta-analysis was performed on the papers involving bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) grafting.

RESULTS:

Thirteen RCTs fulfilled the inclusion criteria involving 765 patients. There was no clinical improvement (Tegner, Lysholm, Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, or International Knee Documentation Committee scores) in any of the 7 studies evaluating PRP alongside the hamstring tendon autograft ACL reconstructions versus the control. Two studies evaluating PRP for hamstring tendon autograft demonstrated significantly improved magnetic resonance imaging findings. Two studies analyzed the use of PRP with allograft ACL reconstruction showed no clinical, biochemical, or radiologic improvements in postoperative follow-up. No functional improvements were found when PRP was used alongside BPTB in 4 studies. There was no significant difference in visual analog scale score in the BPTB group (1.1 vs 1.5, P = .18), or tibial filling defects (P = .30).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study found that the current level I evidence does not support the use of PRP to improve graft healing, improve donor-site morbidity, reduce postoperative pain levels, or improve functional outcomes following ACL reconstruction.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level I; systematic review of level I evidence.