The Role of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Other Biologics for Rotator Cuff Repair

Joshua A. Greenspoon1, Samuel G. Moulton1, Peter J. Millett1, 2, *, Maximilian Petri1, 2
1 Steadman Philippon Research Institute, 181 West Meadow Drive, Suite 1000 Vail, CO, 81657, USA
2 The Steadman Clinic, 181 West Meadow Drive Vail, CO, 81657, USA

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Creative Commons License
© Greenspoon et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address Correspondence to this author at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, 181 West Meadow Drive, Suite 1000 Vail, CO, 81657, USA; E-mail:



Surgical treatment of rotator cuff tears has consistently demonstrated good clinical and functional outcomes. However, in some cases, the rotator cuff fails to heal. While improvements in rotator cuff constructs and biomechanics have been made, the role of biologics to aid healing is currently being investigated.


A selective literature search was performed and personal surgical experiences are reported.


Biologic augmentation of rotator cuff repairs can for example be performed wtableith platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Clinical results on PRP application have been controversial. Application of MSCs has shown promise in animal studies, but clinical data on its effectiveness is presently lacking. The role of Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitors is another interesting field for potential targeted drug therapy after rotator cuff repair.


Large randomized clinical studies need to confirm the benefit of these approaches, in order to eventually lower retear rates and improve clinical outcomes after rotator cuff repair.

Keywords: Biologics, Platelet rich plasma, Regenerative medicine, Rotator cuff, Shoulder, Stem cells.