Background/Purpose: There are several studies available to guide physical therapy treatment for Achilles tendinopathy. Currently, the most common and most heavily researched treatment for Achille's tendinopathy is eccentric gastrocnemius exercises, however, platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are being researched as an addition to traditional treatments to speed recovery time and decrease pain. Case Description: A 24-year-old female professional runner with a 6 week history of left mid-portion Achille's tendonopathy was seen in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. The patient reported pain in her Achille's preventing her from running greater than one minute segments, which was limiting her ability to train for her upcoming national race. Upon examination she was found to have tightness through out her left posterior lower leg musculature as well as a thickened left Achille's tendon body. She was seen for 9 visits over a 4 weeks period. Treatments used included soft tissue work, joint mobilizations, eccentric exercises as well as addressing her pelvic malalignment. Outcomes and Discussion: Through out her 9 visits, the patient was able to slowly increase mileage, however, she did not return to her full training schedule by the end of her 4th week. She also never reported pain under 1/10 during running. An evidence-based review of current literature was performed to evaluate the efficacy of platelet rich plasma injections as a suplemental treatment for Achille's Tendonopthy in addition to traditional physical therapy treatment. Currently, there is moderate evidence to suggest that PRP for Achille's tendinopathy is not an effective treatment.
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Achilles; tendinopathy; Platelet Rich Plasma; Eccentric loading
Kane, Elizabeth. "Platelet Rich Plasma Injections as an Adjunct Treatment for Achilles Tendinopathy." (2015). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/dpt/100