Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not "In the treatment of patients with knee joint osteoarthritis, are Platelet Rich Plasma injections more effective than Hyaluronic acid injections?"

Study Design: Review of one randomized double-blind trial, one randomized cohort study, and one randomized control trial published in the English language in the year 2012.

Data Sources: All studies were published in peer-reviewed journals found via the use of PubMed.

Outcome(s) Measured: Patients were divided into two groups: those who received platelet rich plasma injections (PRP) and those who received hyaluronic injections (HA). Efficacy of PRP injections was compared to the efficacy of HA injections. Outcomes were measured at baseline and various monthly intervals post treatment using WOMAC scores. In addition, outcomes were measured by giving the 11 point pain intensity Numeric Rating scale (NRS), IKDC, and KOOS scores.

Results: In two studies, results of PRP injections versus HA injections reached statistical significance and proved to be an effective form of treatment in patients with knee osteoarthritis (p < 0.01). In the third study, however, there was no statistical significance indicated in the use of PRP injections as compared to HA injections. More research studies are necessary to understand the full effect of PRP injections in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

Conclusion: Overall, PRP injections alone cannot be the first line of treatment used for knee osteoarthritis. However, PRP injections are a safe and viable option for patients who do not benefit from other treatments like HA injections. They also tend to have a better effect on patients with lower-grade knee osteoarthritis.