The Effect of Combined Bone Marrow Aspirate, Lipoaspirate, and Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections on Pain, Function, and Perceived Change Amongst Individuals with Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis A Pilot Study

Main Article Content

Morey Kolber
Joseph Purita
William Hanney


joint diseases, knee, platelet-rich plasma, stem cells


Purpose: This study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of a combined minimally processed bone marrow aspirate (BMA), adipose graft, and leukocyte-rich platelet-rich plasma (PRP) intra-articular injection series on pain, function, and global rating of change (GROC) among patients with glenohumeral osteoarthritis (GHOA) and record any complications or adverse events associated with the protocol.

Methods: Ten adults (mean age 65 years) previously recalcitrant to conservative care with clinical and radiographic evidence of GHOA were included. At the initial visit, patients were assessed for eligibility of treatment. All patients were assessed pre- and post-treatment with numerical pain rating and patient-specific functional scales (PSFS). All study participants were treated with 4–6 ml of PRP, 6 ml adipose graft, and 12 ml of BMA, which were administered via a landmark-based anterior intra-articular injection. Patients were requested to return twice over 4-week intervals for booster PRP injections. At each follow-up, the GROC and prior outcome measures were completed.

Results: Patients returned after an average of 27 days for first (F1) and 68 days for the second (F2) PRP injection. Friedman Chi Square analysis indicated significant improvements in best and worse pain and PSFS from baseline initial visit to F1 and F2 (P ≤ .002). Post-hoc Wilcoxon signed-rank testing with Bonferroni correction (α = 0.017) identified significant improvements from baseline to F1 and F2 for the PSFS (P ≤ 0.012). Improvements in best and worse pain were significant at F2 (P ≤ 0.016), not F1 (P ≥ 0.02), compared to baseline. Effect sizes were large, ranging from r = 0.57 to 0.84 for pain and function. Improvements in pain, GROC, and PSFS met minimum clinically important differences at F2 based on previously validated clinimetrics. The only adverse events reported are related to administration of injectate that was temporary and managed in all cases with over-the-counter analgesics.

Conclusion: A minimally processed adipose graft with BMA and three PRP injections improved pain and function among individuals with GHOA who were recalcitrant to conservative care. Although significant functional improvement at both follow-up points occurred, clinically important and significant changes in pain did not occur until F2. A one-group design and multimodal approach limit generalization of results.

Level of Evidence: IV

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