The rotator cuff comprises 4 principal muscles that stablize and support the shoulder joint: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. Tendons are fibrous tissue that connect muscle to bone. Tears in the rotator cuff can be within the muscle itself or at the site where the tendon attaches to the bone. There are different types of rotator cuff tears: parital tears where only a portion of the muscle or tendon is torn or full thickness tears wheree the tear extends throughout the entire muscle or tendon. If the injury involves a complete tear through the muscle ot tendon then it is called a rupture.
The normal MRI on the left demonstrates the supraspinatus muscle as it attaches on the humerus. On the right, the same mucle is torn (dark signal). The MRI below also shows a tear in the rotator cuff as noted in the dark signal in the muscle( white arrow).
New treatment options for rotator cuff tears include regeneration of the damaged muscle or tendon using stem cell therapy. Regenexx enables patients the ability to use their own stem cells to heal tears in the rotator cuff. Regenexx is a simple needle-in, needle-out procedure that enables the patient to avoid surgery, anesthesia and the extensive physical therapy commonly associated with surgical repair.
Please review the MRI below in which a patient had a tear in their rotator cuff. They underwent stem cell therapy at Regenexx with healing of the tear, 100% resolution of pain and return to normal function.