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Papers of the Week

2019 Dec

Rheumatol Int



Platelet-rich plasma for thumb carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis in a professional pianist: case-based review.


Medina-Porqueres I, Martin-Garcia P, Sanz-De Diego S, Reyes-Eldblom M, Cantero-Tellez R
Rheumatol Int. 2019 Dec; 39(12):2167-2175.
PMID: 31608418.


Thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis (TCMC-OA) is a progressively disabling, debilitating condition presenting with thumb base pain and hand functional impairment. Platelet-rich plasma has been used widely for the management of musculoskeletal pathologies, OA being among them. To our knowledge, only a few cases have been previously reported on this topic until now. A 59-year-old male professional pianist presented with chronic, mild onset of right thumb base pain involving a progressive lack of pinch strength in his right hand, and severe difficulties with playing. Three PRP injections were administered to the TCMC joint on a 1-week interval regime. Clinical outcomes were assessed by using the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, grip and pinch strength, and the Quick-DASH Questionnaire. Functional outcome was excellent according to patient's capability with daily living activities and specific playing demands. At 12 months follow-up, no recurrences or complications were identified, with the musician returning to his previous level of performance 2 weeks before the end of this period. Patient self-reported satisfaction was high and he reported to return to his routine piano activity with no limitations. This case-based review study documents the clinical efficacy of PRP treatment from both functional and perceived-pain perspectives in a professional pianist. Presenting this case, our aim is to draw attention of healthcare providers dealing with TCMC-OA to PRP as a safe, beneficial therapy for this condition which needs further assessment in randomized controlled trials.