Conservative Treatment of Ankle Osteoarthritis: Can Platelet-Rich Plasma Effectively Postpone Surgery?

We retrospectively evaluated the mid- to long-term clinical results (mean follow-up of 17.7 months) for platelet-rich plasma injections in 20 patients (20 ankles) with ankle osteoarthritis. We evaluated the presence of pain using the visual analog scale, function using the Foot and Ankle Disability Index, and subjective satisfaction. The pre- and post-treatment scores, obtained from the clinical records and from telephone interviews during the follow-up period, were compared using the Student t test. We found a strong positive effect for 4 platelet-rich plasma injections (injected once a week) on pain (p = .0001) and function (p = .001), with 80% of patients very satisfied and satisfied, and only 2 patients (10%) required surgery because of early treatment failure. These results suggest that the use of platelet-rich plasma injection is a valid and safe alternative to postpone the need for surgery.

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