Single Intra-articular Platelet-Rich Plasma Versus Corticosteroid Injections in the Treatment of Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder: A Cohort Study

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2019 Jul;98(7):549-557. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001144.


Objective: The aim of the study was to compare the effects of single intra-articular platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and corticosteroid (CS) injections in patients with adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder.

Design: Patients aged 18-70 yrs of either sex, diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis of shoulder, with less than 6-mo duration, were included. In intra-articular corticosteroid (IA-CS, control) group, 30 patients received a single injection (4 ml) of IA-CS and in IA-PRP (test) group, 30 patients received single IA-PRP injection (4 ml) into the glenohumeral joint under ultrasound guidance. All patients were prospectively followed for 12 wks.

Results: Twenty-eight patients in IA-PRP group and 27 in IA-CS group finished the entire 12-wk study period. At 12 wks, decrements in visual analog scale and total shoulder pain and disability index scores, in IA-PRP group, were 58.4 and 55.1, compared with 48.7 and 45.8 in IA-CS group. In range of movement, IA-PRP group showed significant improvement in passive abduction (-50.4 vs. -39.4), internal (-36.8 vs. -25.8), and external rotations (-35.4 vs. -25.9) compared with IA-CS group, respectively. No major complications were observed in any patients.

Conclusions: At 12-wk follow-up, a single dose of IA-PRP injection was found to be more effective than an IA-CS injection, in terms of improving pain, disability, and shoulder range of movement in patients with adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bursitis / complications
  • Bursitis / drug therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain Measurement
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recovery of Function
  • Shoulder Pain / drug therapy*
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Young Adult


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones