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Rotator Cuff Injuries: What Non-Surgical Options Can We Offer Patients?

One of the most effective non-surgical options to treat shoulder injuries is regenerative medicine. The treatment helps return the normal function of tissues and human cells by introducing healthier Mesenchymal cells to help boost the body’s natural ability to heal. Damaged cells are renewed as the body’s natural healing process takes over.

There are approximately 200,000 Americans slated for shoulder surgery each year to repair or treat torn rotator cuffs while another 400,000 cases require surgery for tendinitis or partial tears. Common shoulder injuries requiring treatment include:

  • Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Shoulder Impingement/Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
  • Dislocated Shoulder/Shoulder Instability
  • Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior Tears
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
  • Shoulder Arthritis (Shoulder Osteoarthritis)

The introduction of regenerative medicine is offering a viable option for patients who wish to avoid surgery.

What Studies have to Say

According to studies, rotator cuff tendon tear is a common cause of chronic shoulder pain and disability. Full‐thickness rotator cuff tendon tear varies from 5% to 40%, and chronic tendon degeneration was the primary contributing factor. Treatment for rotator cuff tendon tear depends on conservative therapy, including:

  • Exercise
  • Electrotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Manual therapy
  • Taping
  • Steroid and platelet‐rich plasma [PRP] injections
  • Surgery

As mentioned, surgical repair is very common, yet the failure rate for rotator cuff tendon repair can be as low as 20%. While some success rates are as high as 90%, it is dependent on the patient’s age as well as tear size. Other considerations include:

  • Chronicity
  • Muscle atrophy and fatty degeneration
  • Tendon quality
  • Operative technique
  • Postoperative rehabilitation treatment

Less successful outcomes can be expected for revision rotator cuff surgery when compared to primary repair.

With a need to see the physiological restoration of the rotator cuff tendon tear, a new biological treatment strategy designed to help regenerate the torn tendon and reduce scar formation is required. Therefore, new treatments must target creating an optimized environment to promote restoration. The use of mesenchymal cells is an excellent option as these cells have the ability to differentiate into various cell types.

Further findings surrounding mesenchymal cells studies include:
  • Significant improvements to biomechanical properties of tendon repair tissues in full-thickness, full length, central defects created in the patellar tendons of rabbits following the surgical implant of tissue‐engineered mesenchymal cell‐collagen composites.
  • A bioabsorbable material with bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal cells regenerated tendon‐bone insertion and the tendon belly and increased the mechanical strength of the regenerated tendon in rabbits.
  • Ultrasound‐guided injection with umbilical cord blood‐derived mesenchymal cells in a rabbit model showed that 7 of the 10 tendon tears were only showing partial‐thickness tears after four weeks. Improved functional ability was noted in the rabbit’s activity.

As you can see, regenerative treatments using mesenchymal cells provide a viable alternative treatment for those suffering from rotator cuff and other shoulder injuries.

If you would like to add regenerative medicine to your services, click here to learn about the training we provide.

Our Mission - Dr. Singer Enterprises
Our Mission

David Singer Enterprises is a leading consulting firm for all types of healthcare providers. Founded by Dr. David Singer, who had the fastest growing practice in the world during the 80's. While he was achieving major success, he felt that there was more that he could do to help heal people in this world. So he decided to start sharing his secrets to success with the world. Your success is our success!