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. In this post, we’ll explain how stem cell therapy for shoulder issues works and what you can expect if you choose to undergo a stem cell procedure.
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.
- Rotator cuff damage (which accounts for the majority of the “typical” shoulder sports injuries).
Placement of stem cells into an arthritic acromioclavicular joint of the shoulder under flouroscospic guidance (x-ray guided stem cell shoulder injection).
Rotator Cuff Tears
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 causes 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. It’s important to speak with a medical professional to determine the best mode of treatment if you experience a rotator cuff tear. Complete tears often require surgical repair. Individuals who suffer partial tears to the rotator cuff, or tendonosis, on the other hand, may be excellent candidates for stem cell shoulder treatment. Accurate diagnosis of a shoulder injury is imperative to deciding on a treatment plan, and usually 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 postoperative 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 for 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, 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 surgery for many common shoulder injuries and degenerative conditions..
*Individual patient results may vary. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.
Meet Our Doctor, Dr. Scott Brandt
Dr. Scott Brandt completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and attended medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He then completed his anesthesiology residency training and internship at the University of Illinois and Michael Reese Hospitals in Chicago. Dr. Brandt has trained extensively across the country and become one of the nation’s top stem cell therapy doctors. He provides the highest quality patient care available. He continues to incorporate advancements in the field as rapidly as scientific evidence supports their addition. This combined with Dr. Brandt’s unparalleled expertise in minimally invasive injection techniques, utilizing live image guidance, allows him to ensure the best biologic solutions are placed exactly in the areas of tissue damage.