Dr. Kenneth Lee Awarded ICTR Grant for Platelet-rich Plasma Treatments

Posted on September 2012

Dr. Kenneth Lee, assistant professor in the Musculoskeletal Imaging Section, was awarded a $50,000 UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) grant for his project entitled “Platelet-rich plasma injection therapy for Achilles tendinopathy: Correlating novel ultrasound-based biomarkers.” His proposal was one of seven Type 1 Translational Research Pilot Projects chosen by ICTR. Other collaborators on this project include Ray Vanderby, Ph.D., and Sarah Duenwald-Kuehl, Ph.D., from the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Ryan DeWall, Ph.D., from the Department of Medical Physics, John Wilson, M.D., M.S., from the Department of Sports Medicine, and Darryl Thelen, Ph.D., from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a common debilitating overuse injury characterized as a degenerative condition, and is seen in a wide spectrum of people. To date, there is no effective nonsurgical treatment for chronic AT, and 25-45% of patients eventually require surgery. A promising treatment for overuse injuries such as AT called platelet rich plasma (PRP) use platelets from the patient to increase the concentration of growth factors to promote healing on the cellular level, therefore improving pain and function. This study seeks to evaluate new ultrasound-based techniques as objective outcome measures for PRP therapy for chronic AT. Dr. Lee’s group believes that PRP treatment of AT will decrease pain and promote cellular healing over time.