Regenerative medicine, specifically stem cell therapy, is changing the way shoulder injuries are managed. Stem cell therapy for shoulder pain, is quickly minimizing the need for invasive shoulder surgery.
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The shoulder joint is one of the most powerful joints in the body and is integral to both work and sport. This joint is essential for almost every facet of life, from brushing one’s teeth and hair to drinking a soda and driving a car.
Common Shoulder Injuries As The Result Of Sports Activity
Shoulder injuries are some of the most common sports-related injuries. Proper shoulder function is essential in almost every sport, and imperative in sports such as tennis, golf, basketball and football. In 2006, 7.5 million doctors visits were due to shoulder problems and of those, 4 million were due to rotator cuff issues.
Minimally invasive options to treat these injuries, such as stem cell therapy, allow shoulder patients to quickly recover and return to activity with as little downtime as possible. Many different types of shoulder injuries can be sustained during sports trauma. Dislocations, fractures, contusions and rotator cuff damage account for the majority of the typical shoulder sport injuries.
Placement of stem cells into an arthritic acromioclavicular joint of the shoulder under flouroscospic guidance (x-ray guided stem cell shoulder injection).
What Happens in a Rotator Cuff Tear & Other Shoulder Injuries
The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of muscles and tendons that connect the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade. This group of tendons and muscles holds the upper arm bone firmly into the shoulder socket. This combination of muscles, tendons and bones creates the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. The typical rotator cuff injury presents with pain, stiffness, weakness and loss of range of motion to the shoulder.
Stem Cell Treatment For Torn Rotator Cuff Procedure
Stem cell injections for rotator cuff tears can be an option depending on the severity of the damage to the tendons of the rotator cuff, a determination can be made as to the best mode of treatment. Complete tears typically require surgical repair. Partial tears to the rotator cuff are often excellent candidates for stem cell treatment to the shoulder. Accurate diagnosis of a shoulder injury is imperative to deciding on a treatment plan, and often requires MRI examination to identify the specifics of a rotator cuff injury.
Stem Cell Therapy as an Alternative to Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Stem cell therapy may offer an excellent alternative for patients looking to avoid shoulder joint replacement surgery, as well as many other surgical treatments for shoulder pain. By opting for stem cell therapy, patients typically have a much quicker recovery, far less post-operative pain, speedy return to work, and a decreased need for physical therapy.
Shoulder Stem Cell Therapy Procedure
Stem cell therapy offers a minimally invasive option to the treatment of shoulder injuries and chronic wear and tear of the joint cartilage. Adult stem cells can be harvested from a patient’s adipose (fatty) tissue and bone marrow, separated, consolidated and prepared for injection into the damaged areas of the shoulder. The injections are carried out under image guidance to assure that the cells are placed accurately in the specific areas of damage.
Joints are injected under live x-ray guidance, while tendons are typically injected with the assistance of ultrasound. Stem cell therapy offers a potentially powerful treatment for partial tendon and muscle tears, as well as cartilage damage sustained from both acute injury and chronic degeneration. The procedure is done in an outpatient setting, takes approximately 3 hours to perform, and does not require a general anesthetic.
Recovery After a Shoulder Stem Cell Procedure
Recovery time following a stem cell procedure for shoulder pain is dramatically shorter than most surgical recoveries. Most patients can return to work and normal daily activity within 1-2 days after their procedure. Most patients don’t require post-operative physical therapy. The proper time to return to sports activities depends on the severity and specific injury treated, but typically takes 4-12 weeks. Stem cell therapy can be an excellent alternative to shoulder replacement surgery for many shoulder injuries.
*Individual patient results may vary. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.