Does application of moderately concentrated platelet-rich plasma improve clinical and structural outcome after arthroscopic repair of medium-sized to large rotator cuff tear? A randomized controlled trial

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2016 Aug;25(8):1312-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2016.01.036. Epub 2016 Jun 1.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Wound Healing