The effect of platelet-rich plasma injections in the non-surgical treatment of a partial rotator cuff tear
Introduction: Rotator cuff tears are associated with significant morbidity and have a reported incidence of greater than 50% amongst the adult population. We present a case report of a partial rotator cuff tear treated with platelet-rich plasma injections.
Case Report: A 60-year-old female was presented with a partial supraspinatus tear having failed to improve with physiotherapy. The patient underwent a course of three platelet-rich plasma injections to her tear. Patient outcome was measured using the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS), percentage perceived improvement (PPI) and also a handheld dynamometer assessment of rotator cuff strength. Repeat ultrasound examination was performed. The patient reported improvements in pain as measured by NPRS and PPI, though maximal improvement was not maintained through to final data collection at 52nd week. Dynamometer follow-up showed improvement in strength. Ultrasound at 52nd week showed evidence of ingrowth of tissue though this did not resemble normal tendon. The patient noted increased pain post her second platelet-rich plasma injection though this was self-limiting and managed with simple analgesia.
Conclusion: In this case report, platelet-rich plasma injections for the treatment of a partial rotator cuff tear resulted in improvement in all recorded outcome measures. This highlights the need for more formal controlled trials to determine the use of platelet-rich plasma in the treatment of rotator cuff pathology.