Placing leukocyte- and platelet-rich fibrin between the tendon and the bone during arthroscopic rotator cuff repair was linked to a higher vascularization response at 6 weeks compared to repair without the biologic, according to the results of this pilot study.
“Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair with the application of [leukocyte- and platelet-rich fibrin] L-PRF is technically feasible and yields higher early vascularization. Increased vascularization may potentially predispose [patients] to an increased and earlier cellular response and an increased healing rate,” the investigators wrote in their study abstract.
They randomly assigned 20 patients with chronic rotator cuff tears to either a test or control group. The test group had L-PRF added during arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, while the control group received the same arthroscopic treatment without biologic augmentation. The groups were assessed using the Visual Analog Scale, Constant and Simple Shoulder Test Scores and power Doppler ultrasonography.
The investigators found comparable clinical results between the groups at 6 weeks and 12 weeks. The L-PRF group had a significantly higher mean vascularization index of the surgical tendon-to-bone insertions compared with their contralateral healthy shoulders. Although the L-PRF group showed a higher vascularization at 6 weeks compared with the control group, researchers found no difference after 12-weeks follow-up. According to study results, there have been no postoperative complications and 89% of the repaired cuffs had watertight healing.
Disclosure: This study was funded by the European Society for Surgery of the Shoulder and Elbow and the Swiss Society of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology.