PRP: A proven treatment for partial rotator cuff tears
The evidence-based conclusion is that regenerative injection therapies– such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), can be first-line modalities for patients with chronic shoulder pain.
Dr Louis Re offers PRP as treatment for partial rotator cuff tears and it is the most studied modality. PRP consistently improves pain and improves tissue health over a short duration with minimal treatments:
- In 19 patients with partial rotator cuff tears, 3 months after a single PRP injection there was a 53% improvement in ROM, 66% improvement in pain, 76% improvement in DASH score, and 84% improvement in SF-12 Health Survey questionnaire.
- In a second case series of 20 patients, PRP treatment of partial rotator cuff tears led to improvements in pain and sonographic appearance at just 8 weeks.
- A single ultrasound-guided PRP injection was shown to significantly decrease pain and increase function over a 6 month period. PRP has a pain-relieving and healing effect on the intact portion of the tendon. This is supported by other studies showing the biochemical/microscopic healing processes stimulated by PRP injections.
PRP is an evolving treatment modality gaining momentum in the rehabilitation and sports medicine applications. Studies suggest that biologically active substances and concentrated growth factors within PRP can initiate a healing cascade by the action of the elevated cytokines concentrations released during platelet degranulation, which stimulates the capillary regeneration within the area of tendon tear. The mechanism of tendon regeneration and healing may be responsible for the clinical and structural improvement seen in this study.