Bone has the ability to completely regenerate under normal healing conditions. Although fractures generally heal uneventfully, healing problems such as delayed union or nonunion still occur in approximately 10% of patients. Optimal healing potential involves an interplay of biomechanical and biological factors. Orthopedic implants are commonly used for providing the necessary biomechanical support. In situations where the biological factors that are needed for fracture healing are deemed inadequate, additional biological enhancement is needed. With platelets being packed with granules that contain growth factors and other proteins that have osteoinductive capacity, local application of platelet concentrates, also called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) seems an attractive biological to enhance fracture healing. This review shows an overview of the use PRP and its effect in enhancing fracture healing. PRP is extracted from the patient's own blood, supporting that its use is considered safe. Although PRP showed effective in some studies, other studies showed controversial results. Conflicts in the literature may be explained by the absence of consensus about the preparation of PRP, differences in platelet counts, low number of patients, and absence of a standard application technique. More studies addressing these issues are needed in order to determine the true effect of PRP on fracture healing.

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Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Lieshout, E., & den Hartog, D. (2020). Effect of platelet-rich plasma on fracture healing. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2020.12.005