Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Rotator Cuff Repairs

shoulder-painIs a rotator cuff tear causing you to experience shoulder pain or decreased function? Rotator cuff tears are a common source of shoulder dysfunction and can happen suddenly with activity or may develop slowly as we age.

Traditionally, physicians have relied on medications and anti-inflammatory injections to help improve pain temporarily while patients have physical therapy to help strengthen muscles and tendons. While this approach has helped to provide relief for some, not all patients benefit from it, nor does the tear ever fully recover this way. Recent evidence also suggests that nearly half of these tears become more painful over a course of 2 -3 years. The great news is regenerative therapy injections offer the potential to both improve pain as well as repair and heal the tissue.

A recent study by Hernigou, P et al. International Orthopaedics. 2014  used patients own Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) during arthroscopy and showed rotator cuff repair with dramatically enhanced healing rate. 100% of patients receiving MSC augmentation experienced healing at 6 months versus 67% of the control group patients. In addition 87% of the MSC augmentation group had an intact rotator cuff at 10 years versus only 44% of the patients in the control group.

We know that in reality, a large number of patients experiencing rotator cuff tears that become painful before surgery is necessitated. Early detection and treatment of these tears may prevent future surgery and prolonged recovery. For these patients, it is believed that an ultrasound guided injection of one’s own Mesenchymal stem cells, can help to relieve pain and promote healing of the rotator cuff and return to normal day to day activities.

The physicians at Southwest Spine & Sports are experts in the field of regenerative medicine and offer stem cell therapy along with PRP and a variety of other nonsurgical treatments to help ease your pain and get you back to living the life you want. For more information or to schedule a consultation with one of the doctors, call today at (480) 860-8998 or click here to contact us online!