Ask the Expert: Dr. Brian Halpern, Sports Medicine Physician, Answers Your Questions on Men’s Sports Injuries & Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment

Q1: Are patients with immune deficiencies candidates for this PRP treatment?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments are most appropriate for chronic tendonopathies (disorders of the tendon) and some mild to moderate arthritis. Normal platelet function is needed and those patients with immune deficiencies who are also taking various drugs often do not qualify.

Q2: My doctor told me that I will likely be a candidate for total knee replacement in a couple of years. After sustaining wear and tear from years of sports, I have had knee arthroscopy and now have arthritis. My doctor recommended injections to help with pain and stiffness. Would these shots keep me from work or sports?

The injections for the arthritis can be cortisone, hyaluronic acid or PRP. Most patients should be fine to continue their previous activities within the week or two following the shots.

Q3: I was recently diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I am an avid tennis player. Will this affect my swing?

Psoriatic arthritis is often accompanied by tendon inflammation. Either the joint or tendon can be painful and restrict your swing when active. When controlled you should be ok for tennis.

Q4: Are there any injuries that male athletes are more susceptible or prone to? Any tips on prevention?

The most common injuries to all athletes are overuse (wear and tear).The best prevention is appropriate warm-up, stretching, strengthening and listening to your body.

Q5: I suffer from tendonitis in my foot/ankle. Is this something PRP would help?

PRP can help various tendonopathies of the foot and ankle. First however, good footwear, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy is appropriate.

Q6: I’m in my mid 50s and still regularly play basketball, softball and go to the gym. I’m noticing among my male friends that we all have knee problems. Is this specific to men of our age? Why is it always the knees?

Next to the back, the knees are the most common area for musculoskeletal complaints. In middle age men, we often see early arthritis, meniscal or ligament problems from sports.

Dr. Brian Halpern is a sports medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery. He pioneered the non-operative approach to acute and chronic musculoskeletal problems.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.


  1. Sir i like to ask as i m a Judo player got injured and i am having a meniscus tear 2nd stage entered to 3rd stage.. Here Dr. Suggested either surgery or PRP.. i m confused what to do.. is surgery is ok or PRP as i hav to play farther..

  2. Hello Mr. Halpern. Thank you for making all this information available on the internet. Do you happen to be familiar with any clinic in the Miami area (including Ft. Lauderdale) that has the same vast experience you have on this subject? I believe making a trip to NY will make any therapy overly expensive.

  3. Hello,

    Is PRT an effective treatment for subscapularis tendinopathy? Is it effective for Supraspinatus slight tendon tear?

    Is it effective for the shoulder girdle tendons, ligaments and muscles?

    Is it effective for the so called “frozen shoulder?” This condition can be caused by injury to the rotator cuff muscles especially the subscapularis.

    Please advise.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Tom, thank you for reaching out. Dr. Scott Rodeo, Orthopedic Surgeon, says: “The data on the use of PRP for treatment of tendon injury is mixed. Some studies show a positive effect, while many others do not show any effect. This is likely due to the tremendous variability in different PRP formulations. The value of PRP is that it is safe, since it comes from the same individual. There is minimal risk of adverse effects, so it is reasonable to try for chronic tendinopathy. There is very little data that has evaluated PRP for non-operative management of problems involving the supraspinatus or subcapularis. One disadvantage would be cost depending on insurance coverage. PRP would not be indicated nor used for frozen shoulder.” If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

  4. What is the average recovery period for PRP treatment in an ankle? Also, how long before you may return to playing tennis and golf?

    1. Hi Denis, thank you for reaching out. For more information on PRP injections, please visit Also, for more on golf injuries and injury prevention, check out the HSS Golf Online Tool: It is best to consult with your treating physician so they can better advise. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

  5. I have “bone on bone” in right shoulder joint after old rotator cuff tears of both shoulders… They were both treated by P.T. and responded excellently which lasted more than 10 years but now are painful and rom is affected..
    would I be a candidate for PRP?

    1. Hi Mary Ann, thank you for reaching out. Dr. Lawrence Gulotta, Orthopedic Surgeon, says: “PRP is currently not indicated for the treatment of severe arthritis in the setting of a rotator cuff tear.” It is best to consult with your treating physician. If you wish to receive care at HSS, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 for further assistance.

  6. Hi, my 12 year old daughter does gymnastics and she had OCD of her elbow in 2011 which healed with non-surgical treatment. The past month she has been complaining of pain on the inside edge of her same elbow. Her physical therapist has been treating it as a ulnar collateral ligament injury, but my daughter now says her elbow hurts when she is landing on her arms during tumbling. We are in the process of getting an MRI. My question is: would PRP help treat her OCD if she has it again? thank you.

    1. Hi Michika, We’re sorry to hear about your daughter’s problems. Dr. Scott Rodeo, Co-Chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, says, “There is essentially no data to support the use of PRP in the treatment of osteochondritis dissecans. This should be evaluated with MRI to assess for healing of the OCD fragment.” It is best to consult with your daughter’s physician. If you’d like to make an appointment with an HSS physician, contact our Physician Referral Service at +1.877.606.1555 or

  7. Does your RPP treatment work with patients with herniated discs or just with joints?
    Thank you

    1. Dear Mary, Thanks for reaching out. Dr. Brian Halpern says, “Trials are ongoing looking at platelet-rich plasma treatment?s effect on herniated disc patients, but there are no significant findings to comment on at this time.” If you’re interested in seeing an HSS physician for this or any condition, please contact our Physician Referral Service at 877-606-1555 or

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