Stemcelldoc's Weblog

March 2, 2009

Biceps Tendon Repair

The biceps muscle is what gave Popeye his notoriety.

Flexing His Biceps

Flexing His Biceps

The biceps muscle consists of two separate heads:  the short head which originates from the coracoid process and the long head which originates  the cartilaginous socket referred to as the labrum.

Attachment of short head of the biceps muscle

Attachment of long head of the biceps muscle

The muscle inserts onto the radius, one of the bones in the forearm.  Tendons attach muscle to bone.

Two Heads of Bicep Muscle

Two Heads of Bicep Muscle

The biceps functions to stabilize the shoulder,  flex the elbow and rotate the forearm.  The long head of the biceps tendon is vulnerable to injury because it travels through the shoulder joint to its attachment point at the labrum.  Tears of biceps tendon can be either partial or complete.

Symptoms commonly associated with a torn biceps tendon include sudden sharp pain, an audible snap, weakness and tenderness along anterior shoulder.

Treatment options often include surgery where the biceps tendon is reinforced with sutures and anchored to the bone.

At the Centeno-Schultz Clinc we have successfully injected the biceps tendon where it is attached into the shoulder joint.  A novel alternative to biceps tendon surgery is the injection of stem cells into the area of damage.   The stem cells have the potential or repairing and regenerating the torn tendon.   Regenexx is a simple needle-in, needle-out procedure which allows the patient to avoid the risks of surgery, anesthesia and the extensive time and expense associated with post surgery physical therapy.


January 17, 2009

Rehabilitation from Shoulder Surgery

Patients with tears in the labrum, biceps tendon and inferior glenohumeral ligament often undergone surgery. Tears to the labrum, the fibrous tissue that surrounds the glenoid socket, involve cutting and removing the damaged tissue. If the tendon is torn it is commonly reattached using absorbable tacks, wires, or sutures.


Rehabilitation can be slow and painful.  After surgery the shoulder is immobilized in a sling for 3 to 4 weeks. During this time there can be loss of muscle strength and tone. Physical therapy aims to restore flexibility and muscle strength which requires weeks of therapy and time.

Ligaments, tendons and the labrum can be repaired using cell stem therapy. Regenexx enables patients to use their own stem cells to repair injuries in the shoulder. Regenexx is a simple needle in-needle out procedure which allows the patient to avoid the risks associated with surgery, anesthesia and the time consuming and painful rehabilitative process associated with surgical options.

To see how stem cell therapy can be used for rotator cuff tears please click video.

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Shoulder Joint Tears

The shoulder joint is compromised of three bones: the clavicle (collar bone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus. The humerus rests in a socket called the glenoid.


The labrum is a soft fibrous tissue rim that surrounds the socket thereby stabilizing the shoulder joint. The labrum is also the site of attachment of several ligaments.



Tears in the labrum can cause pain, catching, locking, popping, grinding, loss of range of motion and weakness.

Labrum tears are located either above (superior) or below (inferior) the middle of the glenoid socket. A tear above the middle of the socket is referred to as a SLAP (superior labrum, anterior to posterior) lesion. It can be associated with tears in the biceps tendon.

Labrum tears below the middle of the glenoid socket are called a Bankart lesion. This lesion can be associated with tears in the inferior glenohumeral ligament.

Treatment typically involves shoulder surgery where the “damaged” labrum is removed and torn tendons are reattached with suture or wires.

Rather than cutting out the torn portion of the labrum why not regenerate it? Patients now how have that option through Regenexx where their own stem cells are injected into the area of damage to regenerate the injured tissue. Regenexx is a simple needle in-needle out procedure.

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