For injured athletes with torn cartilage, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a safe and effective treatment, per research provided by the American Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Baltimore.
Though the process is still mildly experimental, studies show that it's safe and offers substantial improvements in function and quality of life for recipients. According to Elizaveta Kon, MD, lead author of the study and Director of Nano-Biotechnology Laboratory at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna Italy, "None of the patients treated experienced complications like infection, deep vein thrombosis or fever."
For the study, 180 patients were treated for chronic pain using either PRP therapy or viscosupplementation (a common hyaluronic acid-based treatment for cartilage damage). 109 of these patients (with an average age of 56) reached a final evaluation. Both groups displayed notable improvement.
Kon notes that long term follow ups for recipients of PRP therapy are required to truly tests it's effectiveness, but that the prospects look good.
Read more about it here: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/aosf-prp070912.php