Background: We compared the clinical course of rotator cuff tears between rotator cuff exercise and bone marrow aspirate concentration (BMAC)-platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection to identify the therapeutic effects of BMAC-PRP on partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon.
Methods: Twenty-four patients with partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon participated in this study. Twelve patients underwent extraction of BMACs and PRP and received the injection of BMAC-PRP at the tear site under ultrasound guidance. Twelve patients in the control group were asked to perform the rotator cuff exercise for 3 months. Visual analog scale (VAS) and manual muscle test (MMT) scores of the supraspinatus muscle were measured, and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score was recorded before, 3 weeks, and 3 months after injection. Tear size was measured by the greatest longitudinal tear length.
Results: The change in the VAS differed between groups at 3 months (P = 0.039) but not at 3 weeks (P = 0.147). The ASES scores in the BMAC-PRP group changed from 39.4 ± 13.0 to 54.5 ± 11.5 at 3 weeks and 74.1 ± 8.5 at 3 months while those in the control group changed from 45.9 ± 12.4 to 56.3 ± 12.3 at 3 weeks (P = 0.712) and 62.2 ± 12.2 at 3 months (P = 0.011). The tear size decreased at 3 weeks or 3 months after the BMAC-PRP injection but was not significantly different from that in the control group.
Conclusions: BMAC-PRP improved pain and shoulder function in patients with partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon.
Trial registration: The patients were registered in the institutional board registry of Samsung Medical Center (registry number 2014-07-173 ).
Keywords: Bone marrow aspirates; Degeneration; Platelet-rich plasma; Rotator cuff tear.