Platelet-Rich Product Supplementation in Rotator Cuff Repair Reduces Retear Rates and Improves Clinical Outcomes: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Arthroscopy. 2021 Aug;37(8):2608-2624. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2021.03.010. Epub 2021 Mar 17.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to conduct a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the clinical and imaging outcomes of all 4 types of platelet-rich therapies (pure platelet-rich plasma [P-PRP], leukocyte and platelet-rich plasma, pure platelet-rich fibrin, and leukocyte and platelet-rich fibrin) in rotator cuff repairs.

Methods: A systematic literature search was performed to identify rotator cuff tears comparing any of the 4 types of platelet-rich products (PRP) to a control in rotator cuff repair. Data extracted from the studies included retear rates diagnosed with imaging studies, as well as outcome scores such as Constant, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Simple Shoulder Test (SST), and visual analog scale (VAS). Meta-analyses compared postoperative outcome scores and retear rates between the control and study groups.

Results: Seventeen studies were included in the meta-analysis. When pooling data from all studies, retear rate for the treatment group was 19.3%, compared to 25.4% for the control group (odds ratio [OR] 0.59, P = .0037). When stratified based on PRP type, only P-PRP resulted in a significant reduction in retear rate (OR 0.26, P = .0005). Overall, treatment with PRP significantly improved Constant scores when compared to controls (mean difference [MD] 2.41, P =.0027), as well as VAS scores (MD -0.12, P = .0014), and SST scores (MD 0.41, P = .0126). There was no significant difference in ASES scores (MD 0.37, P = .7762) or UCLA scores (MD 0.76, P =0.2447) between treatment and controls when pooling data from all studies.

Conclusions: This analysis demonstrates significant reductions in retear rates when rotator cuff repair is augmented with PRP. P-PRP appears to be the most effective formulation, resulting in significantly improved retear rates and clinical outcome scores when compared with controls.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome