The present study aimed to determine the outcomes and quality of life after platelet-rich plasma therapy in patients with chronic recalcitrant diseases of the hindfoot and ankle and to identify the crucial clinical variables. The records of 12 adult patients with diseases of the hindfoot and ankle were included in the present study. These patients had been treated with platelet-rich plasma from September 2010 to April 2011 after 3 to 6 months or more of conservative treatment had been unsuccessful. They had attended the follow-up visits, were consecutively enrolled, and retrospectively studied. A total of 3 mL of autologous platelet-rich plasma was injected under fluoroscopic or ultrasound guidance into the affected areas. All patients had been evaluated using visual analog scale foot and ankle scoring before treatment and at set intervals after treatment. According to their scores at the final follow-up visit (mean 16 months), the patients were allocated to the satisfactory (score ≥ 80; n = 8) and unsatisfactory (score < 80; n = 4) groups. The health-related quality of life was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study short-form, 36-item survey at the final follow-up visit, because the study was retrospective, and the information was not available before treatment. The mean visual analog score at the final follow-up visit (79.71 ± 17.81) was significantly greater than the mean pretreatment score (57.89 ± 20.77; p = .002). Four patients (33%) had unsatisfactory results. The mean short-form, 36-item score for the satisfactory group (85.23 ± 11.30) was significantly greater than that (57.33 ± 12.91) of the unsatisfactory group (p = .003). No definitive factors influencing the outcome of this treatment were found. The substantial number of patients with an unsatisfactory outcome indicates that platelet-rich plasma injection might be an option but might not be a mainstay of nonoperative treatment of problematic conditions of the hindfoot and ankle. The actual benefit of this treatment, including the factors influencing its outcome, are still inconclusive.
Level of Clinical Evidence: 4