Background: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has the potential to improve tendon-bone healing. The evidence is still controversial as to whether PRP application after repair of medium-sized to large cuff tears leads to superior structural and clinical outcome, especially after single-row repair.
Methods: In a randomized study, 102 patients (PRP group, 52 patients; control group, 50 patients) with medium-sized and large degenerative posterosuperior tears were included for arthroscopic repair with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Patients were evaluated with clinical scores (visual analog scale score, Constant-Murley score, University of California-Los Angeles score, and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score) and ultrasound to assess retear and vascularity pattern of the cuff.
Results: Visual analog scale scores were significantly lower in the PRP group than in controls at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months but not later. Constant-Murley scores were significantly better in the PRP group compared with controls at 12 and 24 months, whereas University of California-Los Angeles scores were significantly higher in the PRP group at 6 and 12 months (P < .05). The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score in both groups was comparable at all the times. At 24 months, retear in the PRP group (n = 2; 3.8%) was significantly lower than in the control group (n = 10; 20%; P = .01). The retear difference was significant only for large tears (PRP:control group, 1:6; P = .03). Doppler ultrasound examination showed significant vascularity in the PRP group repair site at 3 months postoperatively (P < .05) and in peribursal tissue until 12 months.
Conclusion: Application of moderately concentrated PRP improves clinical and structural outcome in large cuff tears. PRP also enhances vascularity around the repair site in the early phase.
Keywords: Rotator cuff; degenerative; healing; platelet-rich plasma; repair; tear; vascularity.
Copyright © 2016 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.