Bone Marrow Stimulation for Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Eoghan T. Hurley*, Bryan S. Crook, Richard M. Danilkowicz, Laith M. Jazrawi, Raffy Mirzayan, Jonathan F. Dickens, Oke Anakwenze, Christopher S. Klifto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Bone marrow stimulation (BMS) has been proposed to augment healing at the time of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR) by creating several bone marrow vents in the footprint of the rotator cuff, allowing mesenchymal stem cells, platelets, and growth factors to cover the area as a “crimson duvet.” Purpose: To perform a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to compare the outcomes after BMS and a control for those undergoing ARCR. Study Design: Meta-analysis; Level of evidence, 1. Methods: A literature search of 3 databases was performed based on the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. RCTs comparing BMS and a control for ARCR were included. Clinical outcomes were compared, and a P value <.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: A total of 7 RCTs with 576 patients were included. Overall, 18.8% of patients treated with BMS and 21.0% of patients treated with a control had a retear (I2 = 43%; P =.61). With BMS, the mean Constant score was 88.2, and with the control, the mean Constant score was 86.7 (P =.12). Additionally, there was no significant difference in the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (94.3 vs 93.2, respectively; P =.31) or visual analog scale score (0.9 vs 0.9, respectively; P =.89). Conclusion: The level 1 evidence in the literature did not support BMS as a modality to improve retear rates or clinical outcomes after ARCR.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • arthroscopic surgery
  • bone marrow stimulation
  • repair
  • rotator cuff


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