How Many PRP Injections Are Needed for Shoulder Pain Relief?

Learn about the effectiveness of platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections for shoulder pain relief and how many injections are needed.

How Many PRP Injections Are Needed for Shoulder Pain Relief?

You may need up to three injections of PRP in a six-month period to achieve significant or complete relief from shoulder pain. The improvement in symptoms is said to increase gradually as healing progresses. Generally, a series of three injections are recommended, spread over three to six weeks. For many people, PRP is a good and realistic option for their rotator cuff injury.

An examination by a physician experienced in treating rotator cuff injuries with regenerative therapies is a good starting point. Ultrasound-guided platelet-rich plasma injection for partial rotator cuff tear is an effective procedure to decrease pain and improve function. In one study, the authors showed benefits, demonstrating how important it is to make sure that PRP is injected into the tear. Combined university research led by Drexel University School of Medicine found that a single injection of PRP resulted in safe, significant, and sustained improvement in pain, function, and MRI outcomes in “hard-to-treat” patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy.

The efficacy of arthroscopic acromioplasty alone versus arthroscopic acromioplasty with PRP injection for the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy was evaluated. PRP injections can also eliminate the need for more invasive treatments, such as surgery, or long-term dependence on medications. To further delineate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of PRP for shoulder pathology, it is essential that more randomized, double-blind, controlled investigations be conducted with large sample sizes and optimized PRP preparations. Partial rotator cuff tears can heal with nonsurgical treatment, including platelet-rich plasma or PRP injections.

Patients treated with PRP generally recover much faster than those who receive a steroid injection. Although few complications have been reported and administration of PRP appears to carry little risk to the patient, the literature is currently inconclusive with respect to the clinical benefit and cost-effectiveness of PRP in the treatment of shoulder pathology. Both injection groups showed a statistically significant improvement in clinical outcomes compared to before injection. Studies report that PRP injections given during arthroscopically repaired rotator cuffs decreased the rate of shoulder pain relief.

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