Platelet-rich plasma is defined as autologous blood with a concentration of platelets above baseline values. Platelet-rich plasma has been used in maxillofacial and plastic surgery since the 1990s; its use in sports medicine is growing given its potential to enhance muscle and tendon healing. In vitro studies suggest that growth factors released by platelets recruit reparative cells and may augment soft-tissue repair. Although minimal clinical evidence is currently available, the use of platelet-rich plasma has increased, given its safety as well as the availability of new devices for outpatient preparation and delivery. Its use in surgery to augment rotator cuff and Achilles tendon repair has also been reported. As the marketing of platelet-rich plasma increases, orthopaedic surgeons must be informed regarding the available preparation devices and their differences. Many controlled clinical trials are under way, but clinical use should be approached cautiously until high-level clinical evidence supporting platelet-rich plasma efficacy is available.



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