RCT on PRP for Ankle OA, and Its Predictable Fallout

No-difference studies on expensive treatments often push folks' buttons

What’s the Claim?

A very well–done randomized clinical trial (RCT) from last spring that found no benefit to platelet-rich plasma in patients with ankle arthritis has come back into view because of a recent bit of post-publication dialogue (a letter to the editor and a very thoughtful reply from the RCT’s authors). The RCT itself was extremely well done and convincing. It found no advantage to PRP over saline placebo injection in patients with painful, radiographically visible ankle arthritis in terms of AOFAS scores, VAS pain scores, ankle osteoarthritis scale scores, or SF-36 physical or mental component scores out to one year.

Writers of the letter felt the authors of the RCT overreached.

We felt the RCT was solid and should be used to guide practice. We'll explain why.

How’s It Stack Up?