Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy (PRP)

  • End date
    Aug 31, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
Updated on 23 February 2022


The overall goal of this research is to find an effective treatment for patellar tendinopathy (PT). To achieve this, we will conduct a double-blinded randomized controlled trial to investigate if platelet-rich plasma is effective for treatment. Clinical (pain and function scores) and bio-mechanical (knee strength) measures will be correlated with disease modification changes assessed using conventional and novel quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) techniques.


Sixty-six patients with PT will be randomized to one of three study arms. Subjects in Group 1 (PRP) will receive a single US-guided injection of 5 milliliters of autologous PRP into the patellar tendon, subjects in Group 2 (DN) will undergo ultrasound guided dry needling of the patellar tendon, and subjects in Group 3 (SH) will undergo a sham control ultrasound guided dry needling in the subcutaneous tissue only (not intratendon) at the level of the patellar tendon. The efficacy of the different treatment options will be assessed by pain- and function-dependent, PT-specific Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment Patella (VISA-P) quality of life scores, activity level scores, knee strength measurements, and conventional and novel MRI and US imaging at baseline, 16, 32, and 52 weeks post-treatment.

Condition Patellar Tendinitis
Treatment Dry needling, PRP, Dry Needling - Sham
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03136965
SponsorUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Last Modified on23 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age between 18 and 39 years
Chronic (>3 months) PT
Clinical examination consistent with PT
MRI or US confirmation of PT
Pain score of 3 or greater on a 10-point visual analogue scale
Self-report failure of supervised physical therapy
Self-report failure of at least 2 of the most common treatment options for PT (e.g. NSAIDs, relative rest, ice and bracing)

Exclusion Criteria

Inability to comply with study follow-up requirements
History of bleeding disorders or other hematologic conditions
Knee pain from other possible etiologies (e.g., degenerative joint disease, meniscal tear, ligament injury or reconstruction)
Full or partial patellar tendon tear
Current use of anticoagulation or immunosuppressive therapy
Prior knee trauma requiring medical attention or surgery
Worker's compensation injury
Daily opioid use for pain
Contraindication to MRI
Systemic diseases such as Diabetes and connective tissue diseases
Prior PRP or DN procedure
Women that are pregnant
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