A critical review of regenerative therapies for shoulder rotator cuff injuries

2018-12-13T12:01:28Z (GMT) by Michael Dickinson Sammy Wilson
Rotator cuff tears can cause pain and weakness in the shoulder and affects a wide range of individuals. Conventional repair consists of operative surgical techniques or conservative treatments including physiotherapy; however, there is still a big issue in the increased risk of re-tearing of the tendons. Regenerative therapies are looking for new and novel ways of improving the healing of tendon injuries. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) uses the patient’s own blood in a concentrated form, to supply the repair site with various growth factors that promote the healing response; however, research shows conflicting evidence about the efficacy and effectiveness of PRP. Stem cell research is slowly increasing use of human patients in research trials and is showing significant results in improving and reducing the re-tear rate. Tissue engineering encapsulates a range of techniques such as scaffolds and patches to augment repair of the rotator cuff tendon, and research has shown that such techniques can provide protection and assistance to the repairing tendon to improve results. This review aims to critically compare and evaluate recent research and provide possible future directions.