Use of stem cells and growth factors in rotator cuff tendon repair

Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2019 May;29(4):747-757. doi: 10.1007/s00590-019-02366-x. Epub 2019 Jan 9.


The management of rotator cuff tears continues to prove challenging for orthopaedic surgeons. Such tears affect most age groups and can lead to significant morbidity in patients. The aetiology of these tears is likely to be multifactorial; however, an understanding of the mechanisms involved is still under review. Despite advancements in surgical operative techniques and the materials used, post-operative recurrence rates after surgical repair remain high. A growing area of research surrounds biological adjuncts used to improve the healing potential of the repaired tissues. This review of recent publications focuses on the strengths and limitations of using stem cells and growth factors in rotator cuff repair.

Keywords: Growth factors; Mesenchymal stem cells; Rotator cuff tears.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / therapeutic use
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / therapeutic use
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / therapy*
  • Transforming Growth Factors / therapeutic use


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factors