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Am J Sports Med. 2019 Jul;47(8):1885-1892. doi: 10.1177/0363546519851097. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma for the Treatment of Interstitial Supraspinatus Tears: A Double-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

Division of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, La Tour Hospital, Meyrin, Switzerland.
Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Rive Droite, Geneva, Switzerland.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Medical Department, ReSurg, Nyon, Switzerland.
Division of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland.



The benefits of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for the treatment of rotator cuff tears remain inconclusive, as it is administered either as an adjuvant to surgical repair or as a primary infiltration without targeting the index lesion, which could dilute its effect.


To determine whether PRP infiltrations are superior to saline solution infiltrations (placebo) at improving healing, pain, and function when injected under ultrasound guidance within isolated interstitial supraspinatus tears.


Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.


In this single-center, double-blinded, randomized controlled trial, 80 adults with symptomatic isolated interstitial tears of the supraspinatus, confirmed by magnetic resonance arthrography, were randomized to PRP or saline injections. Each patient received 2 injections with a 1-month interval. The primary outcome was the change in lesion volume, calculated on magnetic resonance arthrography, at 7 months. The secondary outcomes were improvements in shoulder pain and the Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation (SANE) score at >12 months.


Preoperative patient characteristics did not differ between the 2 groups. At 7 months, there were no significant differences between the PRP and control groups in terms of a decrease in lesion size (-0.3 ± 23.6 mm3 vs -8.1 ± 84.7 mm3, respectively; P = .175); reduction of pain on a visual analog scale (VAS) (-2.3 ± 3.0 vs -2.0 ± 3.0, respectively; P = .586); and improvement in SANE (16.7 ± 20.0 vs 14.9 ± 29.0, respectively; P = .650), Constant (8.6 ± 13.0 vs 10.7 ± 19.0, respectively; P = .596), and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (19.5 ± 20.0 vs 21.9 ± 28.0, respectively; P = .665) scores. At >12 months, there were no significant differences between the PRP and control groups in terms of a reduction of pain on a VAS (-3.3 ± 2.6 vs -2.3 ± 3.2, respectively; P = .087) or improvement in the SANE score (24.4 ± 27.5 vs 23.4 ± 24.9, respectively; P = .846). At 19.5 ± 5.3 months, the incidence of adverse effects (pain >48 hours, frozen shoulder, extension of lesion) was significantly higher in the PRP group than the control group (54% vs 26%, respectively; P = .020).


PRP injections within interstitial supraspinatus tears did not improve tendon healing or clinical scores compared with saline injections and were associated with more adverse events.


NCT02672085 ( identifier).


inflammation; tendinitis; treatment; ultrasonography


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