Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Carr, Kristen


Platelet-rich plasma, Osteoarthritis, Corticosteroids, intra-articular injections


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease that hundreds of millions of people suffer from across the world (Palazzo et al., 2016). Currently, corticosteroid intra-articular injections are frequently administered to help with pain and inflammation related to OA (Pereira et al, 2015). A relatively new treatment option is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) intra-articular injections. PRP injections use the patient’s own plasma, injected into the affected joint space, to reduce inflammation and potentially improve both pain and functionality. This literature review will investigate whether the newer PRP injections relieve pain and improve functionality of OA patients better than corticosteroid injections. The literature review was conducted using the electronic databases PubMed and CINHAL from May 1, 2022 to October 1, 2022. Key words were platelet-rich plasma ± intra-articular ± osteoarthritis, corticosteroid + intra-articular ± osteoarthritis, corticosteroid + intra-articular, corticosteroid + intra-articular + osteoarthritis, and corticosteroid + osteoarthritis. In total, there were 8, 707 articles to screen. Articles were then evaluated and removed if they were duplicates, evaluated treatment for diseases other than osteoarthritis, compared other treatments against corticosteroids or platelet-rich plasma and/or were deemed as not answering the research question. Ten articles were selected as meeting the criteria for comparison studies. Current literature suggests that PRP injections more effective at relieving pain and improving functionality than corticosteroids for OA patients. More research is needed into ideal formulations of the PRP before it can be applied to widespread use and results may vary depending on which joints are being treated.