Orthopedics This Week—October 8, 2012
Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery will be giving their all when they begin using their new $100,000 grant from the National Football League (NFL) Charities. The team will be researching the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells as treatments for tendon injury and degeneration. For years, PRP has been used to improve healing in various sports injuries, but there is little evidence of its efficacy. The hope is that this research would lead to the development of an effective therapeutic strategy for tendinopathy that may allow NFL players to return to competition more quickly. The researchers also say that it may lead to a decrease in complications related to tendinosis, such as tendon ruptures. The grant money will be used to investigate how degenerated tendons respond to PRP and bone marrow-derived stem cells as well as if these two treatments will be synergistic if they are combined. Researchers will test these treatments in a preclinical model of tendon injury and degeneration. Among the goals of the research are to examine the structural and mechanical properties of the treated tendon tissue and to see how it responds to PRP and stem cells.