Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College and Hospital, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India. Department of Orthopaedics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. Department of Orthopaedics, Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Department of Orthopaedics, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubballi, Karnataka, India. Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine - Sri Lalithambigai Medical College and Hospital, Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
OBJECTIVES We aim to analyze the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy in comparison to all the available treatments in the management of lateral epicondylitis. MATERIALS AND METHODS We conducted independent and duplicate electronic database searches including PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library till June 2021 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), analyzing the efficacy and safety of PRP
in the management of lateral epicondylitis. Visual Analog Score (VAS) for pain, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) Score, Patient Reported Tennis-Elbow Evaluation (PRETEE) Score were the outcomes analyzed. Analysis was performed in R-platform using MetaInsight. Available treatment methods in the network were ranking based on the p-score approach. The quality of results from network analysis was appraised with Cochrane's CINeMA approach. RESULTS 25 RCTs with 2040 patients were included in the network analysis. Compared to saline control, only leucocyte-rich PRP resulted in significant pain relief (WMD -14.8 95% CI [-23.18,-6.39]; low confidence) on network analysis of VAS outcome compared to other treatment methods such as steroid, local anesthetic, laser, and surgery. Concerning functional outcome parameters such as DASH score or PRETEE score, none of the above-mentioned treatment methods were superior to saline control. On subgroup analysis of the outcomes at various time points, LR-PRP resulted in clinically significant improvement at all time points analyzed. Upon ranking the probabilities of being best of all the interventions analyzed in the network, leucocyte-rich PRP seems more promising with a p score of 0.415. CONCLUSION PRP therapy offers significant pain relief compared to saline control when employed in the management lateral epicondylitis. However, we did not note similar improvement in functional outcomes measures. With the available low-quality evidence, PRP is ranked to be the most promising therapy that needs further exploration. Further high-quality RCTs are needed to explore its usefulness in lateral epicondylitis.