Therapeutic efficacy of platelet-rich plasma injections in treating high hamstring tendinopathy
Nugent, Ryan P.
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Hamstring muscle and tendon injuries are commonly seen in sports medicine clinics, especially in track and field athletes. However, a less common subset of these injuries has recently begun to gain more attention among researchers and clinicians and is referred to as high hamstring tendinopathy. Patients suffering from this condition typically report deep buttock pain brought on by running, or in severe cases even by prolonged sitting, such as in driving a car for long periods of time. Diagnosis of this condition requires a specific patient history, positive signs on physical exams, as well as positive findings on imaging studies, primarily MRI and ultrasound. Treatment for high hamstring tendinopathy typically starts with conservative measures for pain management including ice, electrical stimulation, and pulsed ultrasound. As soon as patients are able, a physical therapy protocol is prescribed involving stretching, along with strengthening, progressing to eccentric exercises. In cases where symptoms are persistent, more aggressive treatments can be followed, such as corticosteroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and surgery in more severe cases. However, because these therapies are often ineffective, expensive, and potentially carry high risks, physicians have begun to turn to alternative forms of therapy. One such treatment gaining recent popularity is the use of platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP). The widely held belief is that PRP provides a higher than average concentration of growth factors than is normally contained in platelets and that these stimulate the wound healing cascade and help in tissue repair and regeneration. PRP is prepared using autologous whole blood from patients by two rounds of centrifugation, separating and concentrating the platelets from other components such as red blood cells and leukocytes. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University