We may not often think about it, but the shoulder is one of the most important joints in our entire body. The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex structures and is in near constant use. From signing your name to swinging a golf club, your shoulder is a key player in almost everything we do.
That amount of use and overuse can often lead to degeneration in many areas of the shoulder, including the rotator cuff. Luckily the innovation of stem cell therapy for shoulder pain is lessening the need for invasive shoulder surgery that can lead to months of difficult recovery.
Rotator Cuff Pain and Stem Cell Therapy
Perhaps the most common form of shoulder injury or pain is that of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a series of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff keeps the top of the upper arm bone in place at the socket of the shoulder. Because of constant use, athletes like baseball pitchers often receive rotator cuff injuries through tears in the tendon. Such injuries result in stiffness, dull pain and limited movement of the arm.
Typically, invasive rotator cuff surgery requires overnight stays in the hospital and four to six months of recovery time. The use of your arm will also be limited for a period while in a sling and patients normally need a couple of weeks before returning to work.
Stem Cell Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injury
Like many other tendons and joints in the body, including the knee, stem cell therapy is a perfect option for patients seeking alternatives to rotator cuff surgery. If the tendons in the rotator cuff are completely torn, stem cell treatment will not work and joint replacement surgery likely will be required.
However, when patients have experienced partial tears, non-invasive stem cell therapy can help rebuild those tears by using the body’s own healthy stem cells harvested either in fatty tissue or bone marrow.
Stem cell therapy begins with a visit to a doctor specializing in stem cells and a complete physical and medical history. Patients also receive all applicable MRIs and X-rays to determine if the shoulder injury is suitable for stem cell treatment.
After that determination is made, the procedure is scheduled in an outpatient center like that of Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation. During the procedure, healthy stem cells are harvested from the patient through the use of a needle and imaging technology.
The healthy stem cells are then spun in a centrifuge to separate the cells used in the treatment. The healthy stem cells then are injected into the location of the pain and they begin the process of organically healing damaged tissue.
Unlike invasive surgery, the recovery time for stem cell therapy for shoulder pain is days, not months. Most patients report being able to return to work in a day or two and begin noticing real results shortly thereafter.
See the educational video about Stem Cell Therapy for Shoulder Pain.
If you are suffering from shoulder pain, please contact our office at (516) 419-4480 or (718) 215-1888 to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.