Alternative to Rotator Cuff Surgery

3 May 2015
3 May 2015, Comments: Comments Off on Alternative to Rotator Cuff Surgery

This week we saw two patients in our clinic that demonstrate the usefulness of precisely placed regenerative injections with stem cells as an alternative to shoulder surgery. Both patients were seen 6 months after their procedure and both were doing very well.

Charles P is 71 year old male who became paraplegic about 40 years ago as a result of a traumatic spinal cord injury. He has been using a wheelchair for ambulation ever since. He is very independent and needs his upper limbs to stay healthy so he can use them to propel his wheelchair and to transfer to and from his wheelchair. For wheelchair bound patients this is imperative in order to stay independent. A few months ago Charles P started to develop pain on his right shoulder. The pain got progressively worse and started to interfere with his transfers and his wheelchair ambulation. He had an MRI done showing partial tears of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons, part of what is commonly called the rotator cuff. He was told by his orthopedic surgeon that he needed surgery. Knowing that having surgery was going to put him out of commission for at least 6 months, Mr. P wanted to avoid the surgery. For that reason he came to our clinic, looking for an alternative to rotator cuff surgery. We performed our RegenaJoint procedure with ultrasound guided injections of stem cells and platelet rich plasma right into the injured tendons. Now, 6 months after the procedure the pain level has decreased from a level of 8 to 9 in a 0-10 point scale to a level of 3 to 4. More importantly, he is able to do his transfers and propel his wheelchair by himself and he is not dependent on his caretaker.

James C. is a 69 year old male who lives a very healthy and active lifestyle and loves to play softball in a senior league. He usually plays as the pitcher. About 6 months ago he started to develop pain on his right shoulder. The pain got progressively worse and it eventually prevented him from pitching, or playing softball. He started losing range of motion on his shoulder. Some of his teammates with knee problems had been treated at our facility and upon their recommendation he came for a consultation. He did not have an MRI of his shoulder, so we performed a diagnostic ultrasound examination and found partial tears of both his supraspinatus and biceps tendons. He agreed to treat his shoulder problems with regenerative injections.  Six months after performing our RegenaJoint procedure his pain level has decreased by more than 50%. His pain used to be constant and in the 6-7 level on a 0-10 pain scale. His pain now is intermittent, and never above a level of 3.  He now has a full range of motion of his right shoulder. And, two weeks ago, he started pitching again and he is enjoying his active lifestyle.

These two cases are typical of the patients with shoulder problems that we are able to treat and help without the risks, costs, and long recovery associated with surgeries.

To learn more about non-surgical alternatives to joint replacement surgeries go to: .