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Scientific literature review: PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) for the treatment of distal biceps tendinopathy

Biceps tendinopathy is a rare condition causing pain in the elbow. Very few papers investigating the use of PRP (platelet rich plasma) for distal biceps tendinopathy have been published. Like in other tendinopathies in the body the results suggest that PRP works well though ultrasound guidance is all important to avoid damaging the surrounding nerves and vessels. Both publications have their limitations due to there being a small number of patients and the lack of a randomised control group. Despite this, patient outcomes for PRP appear to be positive.

Ultrasound-guided platelet-rich plasma injection for distal biceps tendinopathy

Scott L Barker, Simon N Bell, David Connell, Jennifer A Coghlan (2015)

The authors followed up 6 patients who underwent an Ultrasound guided PRP injection for distal biceps tendinopathy in the elbow. Elbow function scores improved from 68.3 to 95. Pain at rest improved from 2.25 to 0 and pain when moving improved from 7.25 to 1.3. No complications were observed. The authors concluded that ultrasound-guided PRP injection appears to be a safe and effective treatment for recalcitrant cases of distal biceps tendinopathy. Further investigation with a randomized controlled trial is needed to fully assess its efficacy.

Single injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for the treatment of refractory distal biceps tendonitis: long-term results of a prospective multicenter cohort study

Ilknur Sanli, Barnes Morgan, Fiek van Tilborg, Lennard Funk, Taco Gosens (2016)

12 patients who underwent a single ultrasound guided PRP injection for the treatment of distal biceps tendinopathy were followed up for a mean of 47 months. All patients showed a significant improvement in elbow scores and pain levels. The authors concluded that ultrasound-guided PRP injection appears to be an effective treatment modality for symptomatic refractory distal biceps tendonitis.

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