Teresa Bianchi, MD, Yunji Kim BS, Benjamin Bonte MD, Hudson Medical, New York, NY
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), as the name suggests, is a product consisting of blood plasma with a high concentration of platelets. While platelets are most often recognized for their clotting abilities, they also contain various growth factors which help during the body’s healing processes. PRP has a broad range of applications and is one of the most common therapies in the field of regenerative medicine. It is an autologous treatment, meaning that it is developed from the patient’s own blood, which eliminates the risk of allergic or immunologic reactions.
A 29 year old male presented to Hudson Medical with a history of chronic mid-back pain. Diagnostic imaging revealed disc protrusions at T6-7 and at T7-8, and he had previously undergone multiple treatments including facet blocks, radiofrequency ablations, and epidural steroid injections, all without optimal improvement. After discussing his treatment options, he wished to pursue an intradiscal PRP injection into the thoracic spine to treat his recalcitrant mid-back pain. Two weeks after undergoing one injection of intradiscal PRP into T6-7 and T7-8, the patient reported 100% resolution of mid-back pain without the use of any other medications. At 8 weeks post intradiscal PRP injection, he admitted to a return of mild-to-moderate mid-back pain, which was well-managed with the use of muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications. The patient had not pursued physical therapy during this time.
While there is substantial evidence supporting the use of PRP therapy as a treatment for chronic low back pain, there is limited research on the efficacy of PRP injections as a treatment for mid-back pain. The results of this case study suggest that intradiscal PRP may be an effective, non-surgical treatment for chronic thoracic back pain.