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Platelet-Rich Plasma vs. Triamcinolone for Treating Lumbar Herniated Discs


Clinical trial shows platelet-rich plasma is effective for lumbar herniated discs

A lumbar herniated disc (HNP), also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the soft inner core of a disc in the lower back protrudes through its tough outer layer. This condition can result from injury, age-related degeneration, or excessive strain. It often leads to intense lower back pain, radiating leg pain (sciatica), muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling. Treatment options range from rest, physical therapy, and medication to more invasive interventions like surgery. Proper diagnosis and management are crucial to alleviate symptoms and prevent further complications, making early medical evaluation essential for those experiencing lumbar herniated disc symptoms.

Clinical Trial

Epidural steroid injections have been used as a non-surgical alternative, with triamcinolone being a common choice due to its pain relief effectiveness. However, concerns about severe side effects have emerged. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), derived from blood through centrifugation, has shown promise in various medical fields. A clinical trialevaluated the efficacy of PRP in treating single-level lumbar HNP compared to triamcinolone.

Thirty patients received transforaminal epidural injections, with fifteen in each group: the triamcinolone and PRP groups. PRP was prepared using a standardized double-spin protocol. Patients in both groups followed the same postoperative protocols and medications. The primary outcome measure was the Visual Analogue Scale of leg pain (LegVAS), assessed at baseline, 2, 6, 12, and 24 weeks. Secondary endpoints included BackVAS, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), adverse events, and treatment failure.

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In the PRP group, the platelet ratio of PRP was 2.86 ± 0.85. Patients treated with PRP injections experienced statistically and clinically significant reductions in LegVAS at 6, 12, and 24 weeks and improvements in ODI at the 24-week mark. PRP treatment demonstrated comparable results in other aspects compared to triamcinolone. Notably, no adverse events were reported in either group.


Noncommercial epidural double-spin PRP outperformed triamcinolone in the treatment of single-level lumbar HNP. The results indicate that PRP is more effective and safer, making it a recommended procedure for individuals with this condition. This research highlights the potential of PRP as an alternative treatment option, offering hope for those seeking relief from lumbar herniated discs without resorting to surgery or facing the risks associated with certain medications. Further exploration of PRP's applications in healthcare is encouraged to improve patient outcomes and enhance our understanding of this innovative therapy.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Apr-28-23
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05234840

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.