Background and purpose: Arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears can produce excellent results. The application of platelet rich plasma during arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is safe, and produces results which do not deteriorate over time.
Methods: A total of 14 patients undergoing arthroscopic repair of a rotator cuff tear received an intra-operative application of autologous platelet rich plasma in combination with an autologous thrombin component after tear repair. Following the procedure, patients were given a standardized rehabilitation protocol, and followed for 24 months. Outcome measures included a pain score (VAS) as well as functional scoring (UCLA and Constant scores).
Results: Of the original 14 patients, 13 were seen at a final follow-up appointment 24 months after the index operation. Patients demonstrated a significant decrease in VAS scores and significant increases in the UCLA and Constant scores at 6, 12 and 24-month follow-ups compared to a pre-operative score.
Conclusion: No adverse events related to this application were noted during the procedure. The application of platelet rich plasma during arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is safe and effective, and produces results which seem to be stable with time. A prospective randomized investigation will be necessary to ascertain the efficacy of platelet rich plasma application to improve or expedite the surgical outcome following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.