Sports Medicine

Platelet-Rich Plasma in Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Jia-Guo Zhao, M.D.
Li Zhao, M.D.
Yan-Xia Jiang, M.D.
Zeng-Liang Wang, M.D.
Jia Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Peng Zhang, M.D.


The purpose of this study was to appraise the retear rate and clinical outcomes of platelet-rich plasma use in patients undergoing arthroscopic full-thickness rotator cuff repair.


We searched the Cochrane Library, PubMed, and EMBASE databases for randomized controlled trials comparing the outcomes of arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery with or without the use of platelet-rich plasma. Methodological quality was assessed by the Detsky quality scale. When there was no high heterogeneity, we used a fixed-effects model. Dichotomous variables were presented as risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and continuous data were measured as mean differences with 95% CIs. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system was used to assess the quality of evidence for each individual outcome.


Eight randomized controlled trials were included, with the sample size ranging from 28 to 88. Overall methodological quality was high. Fixed-effects analysis showed that differences were not significant between the 2 groups in retear rate (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.70 to 1.25; P = .66), Constant score (mean difference, 1.12; 95% CI, −1.38 to 3.61; P = .38), and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) score (mean difference, −0.68; 95% CI, −2.00 to 0.65; P = .32). The strength of GRADE evidence was categorized respectively as low for retear, moderate for Constant score, and low for UCLA shoulder score.


Our meta-analysis does not support the use of platelet-rich plasma in the arthroscopic repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears over repairs without platelet-rich plasma because of similar retear rates and clinical outcomes.

Level of Evidence

Level II, meta-analysis of Level I and II randomized controlled trials.


Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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