In a recent study Platelet-rich plasma injection was compared with dry needling as treatments of rotator cuff disease. Patients received either PRP injections or dry needling twice with a 4-week break between injections. PRP and dry needling were found to have beneficial effects on supraspinatus (one of the rotator cuff muscle) injury. But patients that underwent platelet-rich plasma experienced more significant pain relief and improvement in function at 6-month follow-up. This data supports that patient’s own (autologous) PRP injections could be a secure and beneficial therapy for tendon injury and partial tears of the rotator cuff.
This may ultimately provide a great new option for patients with partial rotator cuff tears or with chronic “micro-tearing” or tendinosis that may be good surgical candidates. Controlled trials like this are necessary to avoid a placebo effect. More & more literature is emerging on biological treatment like PRP which appear generally encouraging under the appropriate circumstances.