Athletic Training M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Osgood, Chad


Background: With the growing prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in the United States and the rising costs of associated surgery, there has been an increase in the amount of research dedicated to alternative treatments. These treatment options may include various types of injections to the knee. Purpose: The purpose of this critical review is to consider how corticosteroid injections compare to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in terms of efficacy in improving symptoms of pain and effusion of the knee in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Results: A total of 17 articles were chosen from databases, including Google Scholar, CLIC, and PubMed. These were assessed using the appropriate tools given the type of article. Trends of the literature identified in this review showed that PRP injections may have longer-lasting effects than those of corticosteroid injections and may also be more effective in patients with early stage osteoarthritis. Conclusion: This critical review of the literature had the purpose of determining the efficacy in reduction of symptoms, pain, and effusion in patients with knee arthritis through the use of corticosteroid injections or PRP injections. Through this review, it was concluded that PRP injections may be more useful for long-term relief of symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, especially for those in the early stages of this disease. In future research, a focus should be placed upon studying corticosteroid injections versus PRP injections and should compare the efficacy through a double-blinded randomized controlled trial to further investigate these treatments. Implications for Research and Practice: As PRP injections seem to provide better long-term relief of symptoms such as pain and increase function of the knee, it would be beneficial for a patient to consider this as a treatment option for osteoarthritis of the knee, especially if they are within the early stages of arthritis. Implications for the athletic training practice may include the discussion of this among other treatment options with health care providers to establish best practice standards along with furthering the needed evidence to allow more major insurance providers to cover PRP as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis.

Degree Name

Athletic Training M.S.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Kinesiology Commons