Can platelet-rich plasma therapy save patients with ulnar collateral ligament tears from surgery?
ABSTRACT: Introduction:Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been shown to be effective in treating partial tears of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow in overhead throwing athletes, but it is still unknown whether it has a role in complete tears. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of PRP in treating complete as well as partial UCL tears. We hypothesized that trephination of the injured UCL followed by injection with PRP can promote healing of both partial and complete tears. Methods:Thirty-four baseball players with partial or complete UCL tears confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were included in the study. They were all recalcitrant to more than two months of rest and physical therapy. Under ultrasound guidance, trephination of the UCL was performed using an 18-gauge needle, followed by PRP injection. Visual analog scale (VAS) scores, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) sports module scores, and sonographic ulnohumeral joint space measurements with valgus stress were all obtained prior to the procedure and six months after. Results:Twenty-six of 30 athletes were able to return to sport with pre-injury level of play within six months after the procedure, at an average time of 12.4 weeks (range: 10-18). Four subjects needed surgical treatment for persistent UCL insufficiency. The average follow-up was 54.2 weeks (range: 26-148). The average VAS and DASH scores improved from 53.5 to 17.2 (p < 0.0001) and from 81.7 to 24.2 (p < 0.0001), respectively. The average ulnohumeral joint space opening with valgus stress decreased from 3.81 mm to 3.45 mm (p = 0.018). Subgroup analysis by injury location revealed that the average VAS score improved from 48.2 to 8.6 (p < 0.0001) and from 64.0 to 34.5 (p = 0.0023) in proximal and distal tears, respectively. The average DASH score improved from 83.8 to 17.8 (p = 0.0001) and from 77.5 to 36.7 (p < 0.0001) in proximal and distal tears, respectively. The average ulnohumeral joint space opening with valgus stress decreased from 3.64 to 3.21 mm (p = 0.003) and from 4.14 to 3.92 mm (p = 0.0023) in proximal and distal tears, respectively. There was one case with a proximal tear that needed surgical management for failure of treatment, while there were three cases needing surgery in those with distal tears. Conclusion:Ultrasound-guided PRP injection following trephination can be an effective treatment option for both partial and complete UCL tears of the elbow, especially proximal tears. The use of this technique for complete UCL tears may allow more athletes to avoid surgery and enable them to return to play faster.
Project description:The "Docking Plus" technique for elbow ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) surgery is described in the following text and video. Depite the general success of UCL surgery, significant rates of retear and failure of return to competition persist. Hypothesized reasons for UCL surgery failure include insufficient graft strength (midsubstance tears), insufficient graft tensioning (functional UCL insufficiency, valgus extension overload), and insufficient healing of graft to bone (proximal avulsions). This technique is meant to incorporate the best aspects of the previously described techniques for UCL reconstruction to create a larger, stronger, better-tensioned graft with a larger healing surface area to bone, a lower retear rate, and a lower risk of complications. The Docking Plus technique has been used since 2012.
Project description:Meniscal tears are the most common orthopaedic injuries, with chronic lesions comprising up to 56% of cases. In these situations, no benefit with surgical treatment is observed. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous intrameniscal platelet rich plasma (PRP) application to complement repair of a chronic meniscal lesion. This single centre, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 72 patients. All subjects underwent meniscal trephination with or without concomitant PRP injection. Meniscal non-union observed in magnetic resonance arthrography or arthroscopy were considered as failures. Patient related outcome measures (PROMs) were assessed. The failure rate was significantly higher in the control group than in the PRP augmented group (70% vs. 48%, P = 0.04). Kaplan-Meyer analysis for arthroscopy-free survival showed significant reduction in the number of performed arthroscopies in the PRP augmented group. A notably higher percentage of patients treated with PRP achieved minimal clinically significant difference in visual analogue scale (VAS) and Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) symptom scores. Our trial indicates that percutaneous meniscal trephination augmented with PRP results in a significant improvement in the rate of chronic meniscal tear healing and this procedure decreases the necessity for arthroscopy in the future (8% vs. 28%, P = 0.032).
Project description:The clinical diagnosis of thumb ulnar collateral ligament disruption has been based on joint angulation during valgus stress testing. This report describes a definitive method of distinguishing between complete and partial ulnar collateral ligament injuries by quantifying translation of the proximal phalanx on the metacarpal head during valgus stress testing.Sixty-two cadaveric thumbs underwent standardized valgus stress testing under fluoroscopy with the ulnar collateral ligament intact, following an isolated release of the proper ulnar collateral ligament, and following a combined release of both the proper and the accessory ulnar collateral ligament (complete ulnar collateral ligament release). Following complete ulnar collateral ligament release, the final thirty-seven thumbs were also analyzed after the application of a valgus force sufficient to cause 45° of valgus angulation at the metacarpophalangeal joint to model more severe soft-tissue injury. Two independent reviewers measured coronal plane joint angulation (in degrees), ulnar joint line gap formation (in millimeters), and radial translation of the proximal phalanx on the metacarpal head (in millimeters) on digital fluoroscopic images that had been randomized.Coronal angulation across the stressed metacarpophalangeal joint progressively increased through the stages of the testing protocol: ulnar collateral ligament intact (average [and standard deviation], 20° ± 8.1°), release of the proper ulnar collateral ligament (average, 23° ± 8.3°), and complete ulnar collateral ligament release (average, 30° ± 8.9°) (p < 0.01 for each comparison). Similarly, gap formation increased from the measurement in the intact state (5.1 ± 1.3 mm), to that following proper ulnar collateral ligament release (5.7 ± 1.5 mm), to that following complete ulnar collateral ligament release (7.2 ± 1.5 mm) (p < 0.01 for each comparison). Radial translation of the proximal phalanx on the metacarpal head did not increase after isolated release of the proper ulnar collateral ligament (1.6 ± 0.8 mm vs. 1.5 ± 0.9 mm in the intact state). There was a significant increase in translation following release of the complete ulnar collateral ligament complex (3.0 ± 0.9 mm; p < 0.01) and an additional increase after forcible angulation of the joint to 45° (4.1 ± 0.9 mm; p < 0.01). Translation 2 mm greater than that in the stressed control was 100% specific for complete disruption of the ulnar collateral ligament complex.While transection of the proper ulnar collateral ligament leads to an increase in metacarpophalangeal joint angulation and gapping on stress fluoroscopic evaluation, only release of both the accessory and the proper ulnar collateral ligament significantly increases translation of the proximal phalanx on the metacarpal head.
Project description:Although sex- and gender-specific analyses have been gaining more attention during the last years they have rarely been performed in orthopaedic literature. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate whether for injuries of the UCL the specific location of the rupture is influenced by sex. A secondary study question addressed the sex-independent effect of trauma intensity on the rupture site of the UCL.This study is a retrospective analysis of all patients with either a proximal or distal bony avulsion or with a mid-substance tear or ligament avulsion of the UCL treated surgically between 1992 and 2015 at two level-I trauma centres. Trauma mechanisms leading to the UCL injury were classified into the following categories: (1) blunt trauma (i.e., strains), (2) low-velocity injuries (e.g., fall from standing height, assaults), and (3) high-velocity injuries (e.g., sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents). After reviewing the surgical records, patients were divided into three groups, depending upon the ligament rupture site: (1) mid-substance tears, (2) proximal ligament or bony avulsions and (3) distal ligament or bony avulsions. Dependencies between the specific rupture site and the explanatory variables (sex, age, and trauma intensity) were evaluated using ?2 test and logistic regression analysis.In total, 1582 patients (1094 males, 488 females) met the inclusion criteria. Mean age was 41 years (range: 9-90 years). Taking into account the effects of sex on trauma intensity (p<0.001) and of trauma intensity on rupture site (p<0.001), mid-substance tears occurred more frequently in women, whereas men were more prone to distal ligament or bony avulsions (p<0.001). In other words, sex and rupture site correlated due to the effects of sex on trauma intensity and of trauma intensity on rupture site, but taking into account those effects there still was a significant effect of sex on rupture site.The results of this study demonstrate that with regression analysis both sex and trauma intensity allow to predict rupture site in UCL injuries.
Project description:The gold standard for management of elbow ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries in elite athletes is reconstruction of the UCL with a tendon graft. Over the past several years, UCL repair for acute tears, as well as partial tears, in young athletes has gained increasing popularity, with studies reporting good outcomes and high rates of return to sports. Additionally, there is increased interest in ligament augmentation using the InternalBrace concept. A recent technique paper describes a direct repair of the UCL augmented with a spanning suture bridge. Although clinical outcomes for this method are promising, one possible concern when using this technique is bone loss at the ulnar origin of the UCL should revision reconstruction be required. We propose an alternative augmentation method that allows for stress shielding of the healing native ligament while minimizing bone compromise in the face of UCL reconstruction at a later time point.
Project description:The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow acts as the primary restraint to valgus force experienced in the late cocking and early acceleration phases of overhead throwing. If the UCL or dynamic flexor-pronator musculature is incompetent, elbow extension and valgus torque, as seen in throwing, can result in posteromedial impingement with subsequent chondromalacia and osteophyte formation. Before the first UCL reconstruction, performed by Frank Jobe in 1974, this injury was considered career ending in overhead athletes. Since the index procedure, further techniques have been developed to minimize dissection of the flexor-pronator mass and improve the biomechanical strength of graft fixation with the goal of increased return to athletic competition. We describe our technique-including pearls and pitfalls, as well as advantages and disadvantages-which combines the docking technique, through a flexor muscle-elevating approach with transposition of the ulnar nerve using a fascial sling. Harvest and preparation of a palmaris longus tendon autograft is also described.
Project description:Reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) remains the gold standard for treating overhead throwing athletes with valgus instability secondary to UCL pathology. Although surgical techniques for reconstruction have evolved over time, current methods allow 90% of patients to return to their preinjury level of activity. Despite encouraging results with reconstruction, UCL repair remains a valuable treatment option for patients with UCL pathology fitting specific criteria. There are a number of advantages associated with a direct repair, and further, the development of collagen-coated sutures for ligament repair augmentation makes this procedure an attractive surgical option under the correct circumstances. This article provides a detailed description and video demonstration of the surgical steps used to perform a UCL repair with suture augmentation.
Project description:Injectable regenerative therapies such as bone marrow concentrate (BMC) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may represent a safe alternative in the treatment of rotator cuff tears. This is a midterm review of a randomized, crossover trial comparing autologous BMC and platelet product injections versus exercise therapy in the treatment of partial and full-thickness supraspinatus tears. Patients enrolled into the study were between 18 and 65 years of age presenting to an outpatient orthopedic clinic with partial to full thickness, nonretracted supraspinatus tendon tears. Enrolled patients were randomized to either ultrasound-guided autologous BMC with PRP and platelet lysate (PL) percutaneous injection treatment or exercise therapy. Patients could cross over to BMC treatment after at least 3 months of exercise therapy. Patients completed the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores as the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcomes included the numeric pain scale (NPS), a modified Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE), and a blinded MRI review. At this midterm review, results from 25 enrolled patients who have reached at least 12-month follow-up are presented. No serious adverse events were reported. Significant differences were seen in patient reported outcomes for the BMC treatment compared to exercise therapy at 3 and 6 months for pain, and for function and reported improvement (SANE) at 3 months (p < .05). Patients reported a mean 89% improvement at 24 months, with sustained functional gains and pain reduction. MRI review showed a size decrease of most tears post-BMC treatment. These findings suggest that ultrasound-guided BMC and platelet product injections are a safe and useful alternative to conservative exercise therapy of torn, nonretracted supraspinatus tendons. This trial is registered with NCT01788683.
Project description:Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury is commonly seen in overhead throwing athletes resulting from the repetitive valgus stress placed on the medial elbow. UCL injuries (attenuation, insufficiency, or rupture) can result in medial elbow pain, a loss of pitch velocity and accuracy, and increased fatigue. Diagnosis can be made by performing a thorough physical examination along with imaging if indicated, such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment options include nonoperative in recreational athletes or those whose primary positions in sport are not high-volume throwing, such as position players in baseball. If nonoperative treatment fails, or the patient has potential for future high-level overhead activity such as a baseball pitcher, surgical repair or reconstruction may be indicated. This article describes our surgical technique for UCL repair in pediatric baseball pitchers.
Project description:Proximal hamstring tears are among the most common sports-related injuries. These injuries often occur as strains or partial tears at the proximal muscle belly or the musculotendinous junction, with avulsion injuries of the proximal attachment occurring less frequently. Regardless of the mechanism, they produce functional impairment and negatively affect an athlete's performance. Various classifications for these injuries are reported in the literature. Early surgical treatment is recommended for patients with either a 2-tendon tear/avulsion with more than 2 cm retraction or those with complete 3-tendon tears. Surgery can be performed in the chronic phase but it is technically demanding because of scar formation and tendon retraction. This Technical Note describes a biomechanically validated surgical technique for repair of the proximal hamstring tears.