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Am J Sports Med. 2016 Aug;44(8):2136-46. doi: 10.1177/0363546516645518. Epub 2016 May 16.

Does Pure Platelet-Rich Plasma Affect Postoperative Clinical Outcomes After Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair? A Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Upper Extremities, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland
Research and Development Department, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland.
Upper Extremities, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland.
Upper Extremities, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland Research and Development Department, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland.



The exact role of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in rotator cuff tendon reconstruction remains unclear.


This study investigated whether an intraoperative pure PRP injection, compared with a local anesthetic injection, improves patient-reported outcomes at 3 and 6 months after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The hypothesis was that pure PRP improves patient-reported outcomes (Oxford Shoulder Score [OSS]) at 3 and 6 months after surgery and has the same pain-reducing effect compared with a postoperative subacromial local anesthetic (ropivacaine) injection.


Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.


Between January 2011 and November 2012, a total of 120 patients who underwent arthroscopic double-row repair of a supraspinatus tendon rupture were randomized to receive either pure PRP by an injection at the footprint (PRP group; n = 60) or ropivacaine injected in the subacromial region (control group; n = 60). Seventy-eight percent of patients had other concomitant tears. All patients, surgeons, and follow-up investigators were blinded. Clinical parameters and various outcome scores (Constant-Murley shoulder score; OSS; patient American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score; quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score; EuroQol 5 dimensions) were documented preoperatively and at 3, 6, and 24 months postoperatively. The repair integrity was assessed by magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound at 24 months. Furthermore, a pain diary was completed within the first 10 postoperative days, and adverse events were recorded. Group outcome differences were analyzed using t tests, Fisher exact tests, and mixed models.


The final follow-up rate was 91%. An associated tear of the subscapularis tendon was diagnosed in 23% of PRP-treated patients and 36% of control patients. Three months after surgery, the mean (±SD) OSS was 32.9 ± 8.6 in PRP-treated patients and 30.7 ± 10.0 in control patients (P = .221). No significant differences were noted for other outcome parameters as well as at 6 and 24 months postoperatively. Smoking was a significant effect modifier. Pain for both groups decreased from postoperative day 1 to 10 without any significant group difference (P = .864). Six (12.2%) and 11 (20.8%) patients were diagnosed with a recurrent supraspinatus tendon defect in the PRP and control groups, respectively (P = .295). Twenty-two (40.7%) and 18 (30.5%) PRP-treated and control patients, respectively, experienced a local adverse event within 24 months (P = .325).


Patients treated with pure PRP showed no significantly improved function at 3, 6, and 24 months after arthroscopic repair compared with control patients receiving ropivacaine; however, a similar pain reduction was documented in both groups. The negative influence of smoking on the effect of pure PRP requires further investigation.


NCT01266226 (


pain; patient-reported outcomes; platelet-rich plasma; rotator cuff repair

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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