Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and growth factors have had encouraging results in several surgical
specialties. Their use in orthopaedics is increasing and has been trialed in fracture management, spinal fusion
and tendon and ligament healing. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are a significant economic burden
and often require surgical reconstruction. This review article used laboratory and clinical studies to evaluate the effectiveness
of PRP and growth factors as an adjunct to ACL reconstruction. Overall, the results of studies to date have been
disappointing especially given the success in other specialties. PRP has been relatively successful in improving vascularization
within the tibial tunnel but less so in the femoral tunnels. The targeting of specific growth factors seems to show
more promise than generic PRP injections with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet derived growth factor
(PDGF) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) showing the most significant results in graft healing. Further trials
are still required before a definitive conclusion can be reached.
Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament, growth factors, platelet rich plasma, repair, surgical reconstruction, tissue engineering.
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