This post will serve to kick off a new blog series from the Shoulder and Elbow team at KOC highlighting the latest medical research topics related to our area of practice! These posts will be housed at our new Research page on the website where we will also include summaries and highlights of our past, … Continue reading RESEARCH UPDATE: Rotator Cuff Repairs and Steroid Injections
Research and Patient Education
As a member of the MOON research group, Dr. Spencer is actively engaged in various research endeavors aimed at improving treatment for a variety of shoulder pathologies. Currently, Dr. Spencer is one of 12 physicians across the country actively enrolling patients in the Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff (ARC) Trial. This clinical trial, based out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, is a national, multi-center endeavor examining the properties of atraumatic rotator cuff tears that determine which tears should be treated operatively or non-operatively. Enrolled patients are randomized to either operative treatment (rotator cuff repair surgery) or non-operative treatment in the form of a specialized physical therapy program designed by Dr. Spencer and the rest of the physicians involved in the study. Patients are then followed by Vanderbilt in the form of a daily physical therapy diary and 3, 6 and 12 month questionnaires. Patients have the ability to switch to the operative arm if they do not feel therapy has made a noticeable difference, and patients are compensated for every questionnaire they complete. For more information about the study, click here.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
Currently, Dr. Spencer and his research assistant, Grayson Poff, are concluding a study examining the effectiveness of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections for specific types of partial rotator cuff tears known as “intra-substance” tears. These tears are unique in the fact that they occur completely inside the tendon without disturbing the outside layer of tissue. This forms a sort of pocket into which PRP can be injected. While not covered by insurance, PRP injections can be very useful for specific pathologies, and our research has shown a 92% success rate for these tears. While the research in full has not yet been made available to the public, you can check out a summary here.