Platelet-Rich Plasma Augmentation in Meniscal Repair Surgery: A Systematic Review of Comparative Studies

Published:February 10, 2020DOI:


      To systematically review the literature on meniscal repair surgery and assess functional and radiographic outcomes of platelet-rich plasma (PRP)–augmented repair compared with standard repair techniques.


      A systematic review of the literature was completed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines using the PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases. The inclusion criteria included all human studies testing PRP augmentation of meniscal repair written in the English language. All cadaveric, animal, and basic science studies were excluded from review. The quality of the included publications was assessed prior to data extraction through the Jadad score. Risk of bias was further determined by Methodological Index for Non-randomized Studies (MINORS) and Cochrane risk-of-bias assessments. Heterogeneity in outcomes reported across studies was evaluated using I2 statistic calculations.


      A total of 5 studies (1 with Level I evidence; 1, Level II; and 3, Level III) met the inclusion criteria for this review, all comparing PRP augmentation of meniscal repair surgery versus meniscal repair with no augmentation. Overall quality and risk of bias in the included studies varied substantially (Jadad score, 1-5; Methodological Index for Non-randomized Studies score, 7-18). Three comparative studies found no significant difference in outcome or failure, whereas the other two showed a significant improvement in PRP-augmented repairs at final follow-up. Two studies assessed healing with postoperative magnetic resonance imaging or second-look arthroscopy, with both showing significantly improved outcomes in the PRP-treated groups (P < .01 and P = .048). PRP preparation techniques and composition differed among all studies and were inconsistently reported.


      In early and limited investigations, there is insufficient evidence to support PRP augmentation of meniscal repair surgery improving functional and radiographic outcomes and resulting in lower failure rates compared with standard repair techniques. There is considerable heterogeneity in the reporting and preparation of PRP used for augmentation.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, systematic review of Level I to III studies.
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      Linked Article

      • Editorial Commentary: Platelet-Rich Plasma and Knee Meniscal Repair—The Use of Biologics Has Not Progressed Substantially Since 1983
        ArthroscopyVol. 36Issue 6
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          When it comes to meniscal repair, optimizing the local biological environment at the repair site by performing trephination to create bleeding from the extracapsular capillary network, by rasping to abrade the local synovial tissue, or by creating bleeding from the intercondylar notch is recommended. The addition of platelet-rich plasma probably also helps, especially absent the bleeding when meniscal repair is performed concomitantly with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. However, pending future research, there is not enough data to recommend platelet-rich plasma augmentation for meniscal repair in all cases.
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