Randelli P. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 20;4:518-528. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2011.02.008
Autologous platelet rich plasma reduced pain in the early postoperative months following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, according to this prospective, randomized controlled trial.
“The long-term results of subgroups of grade 1 and 2 tears suggest that PRP (platelet rich plasma) positively affected cuff rotator healing,” wrote Pietro Randelli, MD, and colleagues at the University of Milan, Italy.
The researchers randomized 53 patients who underwent shoulder arthroscopy to repair a complete rotator cuff tear into two homogenous groups. The 26 patients in the treatment group received an intraoperative application of platelet rich plasma and an autologous thrombin component. The 27 patients in the control group did not receive treatment.
All patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging more than 1-year postoperative, and they all followed the same accelerated rehabilitation protocol.
At 3, 7, 14 and 30 days after surgery, the pain score was lower in the treatment group than in the control group. At 3 months postoperative, the treatment group also had significantly higher scores in the following:
- Simple Shoulder Test;
- University of California score;
- Constant score; and
- Strength in external rotation, as measured by a dynamometer.
After 6, 12 and 24 months, there was no difference between the two groups, the authors wrote. Follow-up MRIs showed no significant differences in rotator cuff healing rates. In the platelet rich plasma group, subgroup of grade 1 and 2 tears, with less retraction, had significantly higher strength in external rotation at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months postoperatively.