The plasma holds a variety of cells and growth factors essential for repair and regeneration of tissue. Tendons, like those in the rotator cuff, receive little blood, and therefore aren’t given a ready supply of regenerative substances. Platelet-rich plasma therapy remedies this problem by taking a patient’s own plasma, selecting the essential repair constituents and injecting them directly into an area of damage or degeneration.
To examine the effects platelet-rich plasma injections have on rotator cuff tendinopathy, a recent study evaluated patients with this specific injury in one or both shoulders. One PRP injection was given, and patients were evaluated for shoulder function and strength. Functional outcomes, particularly lateral rotation, significantly improved, and most patients were completely satisfied with the outcome of the procedure.
Platelet-rich plasma is a new treatment, and may need further evaluation. However, it is safely used in orthopedic centers like the Orthohealing Center in Los Angeles, along with a variety of other cutting edge therapies.