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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013 Apr;21(4):824-9. doi: 10.1007/s00167-012-1980-z. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Platelet-rich plasma: does it help reduce tunnel widening after ACL reconstruction?

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Orthopaedic Unit and Kirk Kilgour Sports Injury Centre, S. Andrea Hospital, University of Rome La Sapienza, Via Grottarossa, 1035, Rome, Italy.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in reducing femoral and tibial tunnel enlargement in patients operated on for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with hamstrings.


Forty male patients, in which both femoral and tibial 9-mm tunnels were performed because of the graft size, were enrolled in this prospective study. They were randomly assigned to group A (20 patients, PRP group) and group B (20 patients, control group). All patients were followed up at a median of 14.7 months (range 10-16 months), with a physical examination, the Tegner, Lysholm and objective IKDC scoring scales, and with the KT-1000 arthrometer. Moreover, they underwent a CT evaluation in order to assess the amount of tunnel enlargement.


Femoral tunnel diameter increased from 9.0 ± 0.1 mm to 9.8 ± 0.3 mm in group A (p = 0.032) and from 9.0 ± 0.1 mm to 9.4 ± 0.5 mm in group B (p = 0.043). Tibial tunnel diameter increased from 9.0 ± 0.2 mm to 10.9 ± 0.2 mm in group A (p = 0.029) and from 9.1 ± 0.1 mm to 10.1 ± 0.4 mm in group B (p = 0.028). Physical examination as well as the evaluation scales used showed no differences between the two groups.


The use of PRP does not seem to be effective in preventing tunnel enlargement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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