BACKGROUND Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is widely used in many orthopedic surgeries and spinal disease treatments; however, the effect of PRP on spinal fusion remains controversial. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES To assess the fusion rate and clinical results of PRP compared with non-PRP administration in the treatment of spinal fusion with regard to decreasing pain and improving healing and function. PATIENTS AND METHODS Studies
comparing PRP to non-PRP treatment with respect to the fusion rate and clinical outcome in patients who underwent spinal fusion surgery were included. RESULT Three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 7 prospective cohort studies were identified. The spinal fusion rate was not significantly different between the groups in all RCTs or cohort studies at the final follow-up. In comparison, PRP significantly reduced pain after surgery as evaluated in the RCT analysis and the complication rate did not differ significantly between the two groups. CONCLUSION According to the available studies, PRP does not contribute to the union rate, relieve pain or increase the complication rate in spinal fusion surgery. As clinical heterogeneity exists in these studies, further large, well-designed RCTs that focus on the standard assessment of PRP are needed.