Platelet-rich plasma injection did not improve pain and shoulder function in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy any more than placebo, according to study results.
Researchers randomly assigned 40 patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy to receive platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or a saline solution injection directly into the rotator cuff tendon with use of real-time ultrasound guidance. A standard rehabilitation program was completed by all patients, including an exercise program that lasted 6 weeks.
The study’s primary outcome measure was the Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index (WORC), and secondary outcome measures included the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI), VAS pain score and passive shoulder range of motion.
Using an intention to treat analysis, the researchers found a 17% difference between groups in WORC score. WORC, SPADI and VAS scores improved from baseline among both groups, with no significant differences between groups at 1-year follow-up. Results also showed no differences between the PRP and placebo groups in passive shoulder motion measures, according to the researchers.
“There are many unknowns in the PRP treatment. How many PRP injections are needed for certain diseases is one of them,” Serder Kesikburun, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Turkish Armed Forces Rehabilitation Center, Ankara, Turkey, and lead study author, told Orthopedics Today. “These results did not favor a single injection of PRP in rotator cuff tendinopathy, [and] we do not know if multiple injections might be beneficial.” – by Casey Tingle
Kesikburun S. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014; doi: 10.1177/0363546513496542.
Disclosure: Kesikburun has no relevant financial disclosures.