Study on Platelet-rich Plasma in Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

Recently, Dr. Pietro Randelli and collegues hypothesized that if Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) were instilled in combination with white blood cells in patients who had just undergone rotator cuff repair, those patients’ recovery would be accelerated. The Italian doctors set out to study 53 patients who underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery. They placed 26 patients in a PRP treatment group and 27 in a control group not receiving PRP. The results at 6, 12 and 24 months were homogeneous, barely differing. However, the treatment group experienced less pain and greater external rotation in the first 30 days following surgery. The study concluded, “The results of our study showed autologous PRP reduced pain in the first postoperative months. The long-term results of subgroups of grade 1 and 2 tears suggest that PRP positively affected cuff rotator healing.” The study was published in the June issue of Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery.

An earlier study of Platelet-rich Plasma applied through a fibrin matrix, suggested PRP may be ineffective in expediting the healing of rotator cuffs following surgery but added, “this data should be viewed as preliminary, and further study is required.” The study’s results were reported after 6 and 12 week follow-up examinations and platelet concentration and PRP preparation methods were not reported. Dr. Randelli’s findings show that when white blood cells are added to PRP, the initial effects can be positive for patients recovering from surgery. Doctors and researchers should continue searching for PRP preparations that may aid long term healing.

Study Info: Randelli et al. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. Department of Scienze Medico Chirurgiche, University of Milano, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Milano, Italy. Publication Date: 6/20. Source: Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery/ American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons.

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