PRP Fails Shoulder Test

Orthopedics This Week—February 26, 2011

One of the great hopes for the healing of injuries—platelet-rich plasma (PRP)—experienced a set-back when PRP appeared not to make much of a difference in a specialized kind of surgery. Study author Scott Rodeo, M.D. co-chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service and professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, reported the results of a study of healing in a tendon-to-bone cuff repair at the February 2011 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in San Diego.

"Our study on 79 patients who received platelet-rich plasma with a fibrin matrix (PRFM) demonstrated no real differences in healing in a tendon-to-bone rotator cuff repair. In fact, this preliminary analysis suggests that the PRFM, as used in this study, may have a negative effect on healing. However, this data should be viewed as preliminary, and further study is required," said Rodeo.

Researchers divided 79 patients into two groups. One received PRFM and the other did not. The doctors used standardized rotator cuff repair techniques on all patients along with post-operative rehabilitation protocols. "It [the PRFM] is almost like chewing gum in consistency," Rodeo said. "In rotator cuff repair, we attached it to a suture which was used to reattach the tendon to the bone."


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