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Am J Sports Med. 2013 Feb;41(2):263-70. doi: 10.1177/0363546512467621. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Platelet-rich fibrin matrix in the management of arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff: a prospective, randomized, double-blinded study.

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Sacramento Knee and Sports Medicine, 2801 K Street, Suite 310, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA.



Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair has a high rate of patient satisfaction. However, multiple studies have shown significant rates of anatomic failure. Biological augmentation would seem to be a reasonable technique to improve clinical outcomes and healing rates.


To represent a prospective, double-blinded, randomized study to assess the use of platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM) in rotator cuff surgery.


Randomized controlled trial; level of evidence, 1.


Prestudy power analysis demonstrated that a sample size of 30 patients in each group (PRFM vs control) would allow recognition of a 20% difference in perioperative pain scores. Sixty consecutive patients were randomized to either receive a commercially available PRFM product or not. Preoperative and postoperative range of motion (ROM), University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), and simple shoulder test (SST) scores were recorded. Surgery was performed using an arthroscopic single-row technique. Visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores were obtained upon arrival to the recovery room and 1 hour postoperatively, and narcotic consumption was recorded and converted to standard narcotic equivalents. The SST and ROM measurements were taken at 3, 6, 9, and 12 weeks postoperatively, and final (1 year) American shoulder and elbow surgeons (ASES) shoulder and UCLA shoulder scores were assessed.


There were no complications. Randomization created comparable groups except that the PRFM group was younger than the control group (mean ± SD, 59.67 ± 8.16 y vs 64.50 ± 8.59 y, respectively; P < .05). Mean surgery time was longer for the PRFM group than for the control group (83.28 ± 17.13 min vs 73.28 ± 17.18 min, respectively; P < .02). There was no significant difference in VAS scores or narcotic use between groups and no statistically significant differences in recovery of motion, SST, or ASES scores. Mean ASES scores were 82.48 ± 8.77 (PRFM group) and 82.52 ± 12.45 (controls) (F(1,56) = 0.00, P > .98). Mean UCLA shoulder scores were 27.94 ± 4.98 for the PRFM group versus 29.59 ± 1.68 for the controls (P < .046). Structural results correlated with age and size of the tear and did not differ between the groups.


Platelet-rich fibrin matrix was not shown to significantly improve perioperative morbidity, clinical outcomes, or structural integrity. While longer term follow-up or different platelet-rich plasma formulations may show differences, early follow-up does not show significant improvement in perioperative morbidity, structural integrity, or clinical outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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