Robert LaPrade, MD, PhD Receives the Cabaud Memorial Award for Breakthrough Biologic Research on PRP

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Dr. LaPrade receives prestigious award from American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine for investigating the effects of PRP treatment on knee ligament injuries in animal models.

Chairman of the AOSSM Research Committee Dr. Provencher Presenting the Cabaud Memorial Award to Dr. LaPrade at the 2017 AOSSM Annual Meeting

“The findings from our study raises concern that the current practice of treating knee ligament injuries, specifically MCL tears, with PRP immediately after injury or surgery may not improve healing at low doses of PRP," said Dr. LaPrade.

Robert LaPrade, MD, PhD, complex knee surgeon at The Steadman Clinic and Chief Medical Officer at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, was the recipient of the Cabaud Memorial Award at the 2017 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting for his work, “Use of Platelet-Rich Plasma Immediately Post-injury to Accelerate Ligament Healing was not Successful in an In Vivo Animal Model.” This award, established in 1986 to honor the life and contributions of Henry Edward (“Ed”) Cabaud III, MD, is given annually to the best manuscript submission pertaining to hard or soft tissue biology, in vitro research, laboratory or “bench-type” research, or in vivo animal research.

Globally recognized for his orthopaedic research, Dr. LaPrade has published over 350 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and 100 book chapters. Many of the surgeries that he has pioneered are performed worldwide and are considered the “Gold Standard” for the treatment of complex knee injuries.

"It is a distinct honor as the chairman of the AOSSM Research Committee to present this prestigious award to Dr. LaPrade and his colleagues," said Dr. Matthew Provencher. "Dr. LaPrade’s continued leadership of breakthrough studies represents excellence in sports research and provides valuable information that ultimately benefits patients around the world."

There has been recent, widespread acceptance and increased use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) in clinical practice for the treatment of knee ligament injuries; however, limited information in basic science, clinical trials and biologic research has been available to prove that ligament healing may actually be accelerated with PRP treatment. Dr. LaPrade said, “We saw a big hole in clinical practice on when and how to use PRP treatment.”

The purpose of this biologic study was to determine whether a single dose of PRP treatment at different platelet concentrations could accelerate healing of an injured medial collateral ligament (MCL) of New Zealand white rabbits. Eighty skeletally mature New Zealand white rabbits (160 knees) had their MCL surgically torn to simulate a grade III tear, were then administered PRP at three different platelet concentrations (0 [platelet poor], [2x PRP], and [4x PRP]) and then compared to a healthy contralateral knee saline injection control. The results of the study showed that one single dose of platelet poor plasma and two-times PRP at the time of injury did not accelerate ligament healing. In addition, a four-times dose of PRP negatively affected ligament strength and histological characteristics at six week’s post-injury. 

“It appears that the timing and dosing of PRP may be individual tissue (ligament, cartilage, bone, or muscle) specific,” said Dr. LaPrade. “The findings from our study raise concern that the current practice of treating knee ligament injuries, specifically MCL tears, with PRP immediately after injury or surgery may not improve healing at low doses of PRP, but could be harming ligament healing at higher PRP doses. We strongly recommend that further studies be performed to determine the dosing and timing of PRP administration after ligament injury before the widespread use of PRP to treat ligament injuries.”

About Dr. Robert LaPrade

Robert LaPrade, MD, PhD is a complex knee surgeon and sports medicine specialist at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. He serves as the Chief Medical Officer and Co-Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship Program at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute. Dr. LaPrade is known as a specialized clinician scientist who has utilized his vast and comprehensive research on sports medicine injuries to improve patient care and invent new ways to treat knee problems.

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Kristin Mapstone
since: 11/2011
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