Platelet-rich plasma treatment improves outcomes for chronic proximal hamstring injuries in an athletic population

December 13, 2019

Background: chronic proximal hamstring tendinopathies is a disabling activity related condition. Currently, there is no well-accepted or extensively documented non-operative treatment option that provides consistently successful results.

Purpose: to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound guided platelet-rich plasma injections in treating chronic proximal hamstring tendinopathies.

Methods: a total of 18 consecutive patients were retrospectively analyzed. All patients received a single injection of platelet rich plasma via ultrasound guidance by a single radiologist. Outcome measures included a questionnaire evaluating previous treatments, visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, subjective improvement, history of injury, and return to activity.

Results: the patient population included 12 females and 6 males. The average age at the time of the injection was 42.6 years (19-60). Provocative activities included running, biking, swimming. The average body mass index of patients was 22.9 (17.2-30.2). The average time of chronic pain prior to receiving the first injection was 32.6 months (6-120). All patients had attempted other forms of non-surgical treatment prior to entering the study. The average VAS pre-injection was 4.6 (0-8). Six months after the injection, 10/18 patients had 80% or greater improvement in their VAS. Overall, the average improvement was 63% (5-100). The only documented side effect was post-injection discomfort that resolved within seventy-two hours.

Conclusion: chronic hamstring tendinopathy is a debilitating condition secondary to the pain, which limits an athlete’s ability to perform. For refractory cases of chronic insertional proximal hamstring injuries, platelet-rich plasma injections are safe and show benefit in the majority of patients in our study, allowing return to pre-injury activities.