New therapies that accelerate musculoskeletal tissue recovery are highly desirable. Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is a leukocyte- and platelet-rich fibrin biomaterial that acts as a binding site for both platelets and growth factors. Through increasing the local concentration of growth factors at specific tissues, PRF promotes tissue regeneration. PRF has been frequently used in combination with bone graft materials to reduce healing times and promote bone regeneration during maxillofacial surgery. However, its benefits during muscle repair and recovery are less well-documented. Here, we perform a narrative review on PRF therapies and muscle injuries to ascertain its beneficial effects. We reviewed the factors that contribute to the biological activity of PRF and the published pre-clinical and clinical evidence to support its emerging use in musculoskeletal therapy. We include in vitro studies, in vivo animal studies and clinical articles highlighting both the success and failures of PRF treatment. PRF can promote the healing process when used in a range of orthopaedic and sports-related injuries. These include cartilage repair, rotator cuff surgery and anterior cruciate ligament surgery. However, conflicting data for these benefits have been reported, most likely due to inconsistencies in both PRF preparation protocols and dosing regimens. Despite this, the literature generally supports the use of PRF as a beneficial adjuvant for a range of chronic muscle, tendon, bone or other soft tissue injuries. Further clinical trials to confirm these benefits require consistency in PRF preparation and the classification of a successful clinical outcome to fully harness its potential.
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