PARot--assessing platelet-rich plasma plus arthroscopic subacromial decompression in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
Carr A., Cooper C., Murphy R., Watkins B., Wheway K., Rombach I., Beard D.
BACKGROUND: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous platelet concentrate. It is prepared by separating the platelet fraction of whole blood from patients and mixing it with an agent to activate the platelets. In a clinical setting, PRP may be reapplied to the patient to improve and hasten the healing of tissue. The therapeutic effect is based on the presence of growth factors stored in the platelets. Current evidence in orthopedics shows that PRP applications can be used to accelerate bone and soft tissue regeneration following tendon injuries and arthroplasty. Outcomes include decreased inflammation, reduced blood loss and post-treatment pain relief. Recent shoulder research indicates there is poor vascularization present in the area around tendinopathies and this possibly prevents full healing capacity post surgery (Am J Sports Med36(6):1171-1178, 2008). Although it is becoming popular in other areas of orthopedics there is little evidence regarding the use of PRP for shoulder pathologies. The application of PRP may help to revascularize the area and consequently promote tendon healing. Such evidence highlights an opportunity to explore the efficacy of PRP use during arthroscopic shoulder surgery for rotator cuff pathologies. METHODS/DESIGN: PARot is a single center, blinded superiority-type randomized controlled trial assessing the clinical outcomes of PRP applications in patients who undergo shoulder surgery for rotator cuff disease. Patients will be randomized to one of the following treatment groups: arthroscopic subacromial decompression surgery or arthroscopic subacromial decompression surgery with application of PRP. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN10464365.