Health Problem: Tears and/or tendinopathy of the rotator cuff (RC) can occur due to degeneration, trauma, repetitive overhead motions, and/or excessive loading. Current treatment strategies generally do not restore the native functional and structural properties of the ligament or tendon due to the poor intrinsic healing response of those tissues.
Technology Description: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous blood preparation with a high platelet concentration and with concentrated platelet-derived growth factors, which may be the primary contributors to the benefits of PRP therapy. Administration of PRP aims to introduce growth and reparative factors directly to the site of degeneration in order to facilitate a faster, more complete recovery.
Controversy: PRP preparations are not standardized and exhibit wide variability in platelet and white blood cell concentrations, as well as the use of thrombin activators. How these variations in PRP composition may affect clinical outcomes is unclear.
- Does PRP, alone or as an adjunct to standard care, improve functional recovery and/or reduce pain associated with arthroscopic RC repair?
- Does PRP, alone or as an adjunct to standard care, improve functional recovery and/or reduce pain associated with RC tendinopathy or partial RC tears?
- Is PRP safe?
- Have definitive patient selection criteria been identified for PRP?
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