Effect of High-Volume Injection, Platelet-Rich Plasma, and Sham Treatment in Chronic Mid-portion Achilles Tendinopathy

December 13, 2019


Background: Injection therapies are often considered alongside exercise for chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy (AT), although evidence of their efficacy is sparse.

Purpose: To determine whether eccentric training in combination with high-volume injection (HVI) or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections improves outcomes in AT.

Methods: A total of 60 men (age, 18-59 years) with chronic (.3 months) AT were included and followed for 6 months (n = 57). All participants performed eccentric training combined with either (1) one HVI (steroid, saline, and local anesthetic), (2) four PRP injections each 14 days apart, or (3) placebo (a few drops of saline under the skin). Randomization was stratified for age, function, and symptom severity (Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment–Achilles [VISA-A]). Outcomes included function and symptoms (VISA-A), self-reported tendon pain during activity (visual analog pain scale [VAS]), tendon thickness and intratendinous vascularity (ultrasonographic imaging and Doppler signal), and muscle function (heel-rise test). Outcomes were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 24 weeks of follow-up.