Stemcelldoc's Weblog

January 28, 2009

MRI Images Showing Torn Rotator Cuff

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).mri-of-torn-rotater-cuff1 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.

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January 19, 2009

Sprains, Strains and Tears

Sprains and strains are common injuries. What is the difference?

A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, the fibrous tissue that connects the end of one bone with another.  Ligaments stabilize and support our body’s joints.  A common example is anterior cruciate ligaments in the knee which connects the upper leg with the lower leg.   A moderate sprain partially tears the ligament, producing joint instability.


A strain is an injury of a muscle and or tendon.  Tendons are fibrous tissue that attaches muscles to bone.   A common example is the biceps tendon which attaches the biceps to the shoulder socket (glenoid).   In severe strains, the muscle and or tendon is partially or completely torn.


Why do these occur?

Sprains are typically caused by trauma that displaces a joint out of position and overstretches the supporting ligaments. In severe cases, the ligament tears or ruptures. A common example is a snowboarder who falls on an outstretched arm.

Strains can result from overuse of muscles and tendons, excessive muscle contraction or trauma.

Treatment for torn ligaments and tendons often involves  surgery. At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic these injures have successfully been treated with prolotherapy and stem cell therapy.  Regenexx allows the patient to use their own stem cells to repair torn ligaments and tendons.

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January 17, 2009

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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January 7, 2009

Recovery Time From Shoulder Surgery

Recovery time from shoulder surgery varies on the type of surgery performed.  The shoulder is a complex joint made up of ligaments, muscles and cartilage. 






 The major muscles are the supraspinatous, infraspinatus, teres minor and the subscapularis, which together comprise the rotator cuff.




Ligaments are the fibrous tissue that connects bone to other bone.

Recovery time from shoulder surgeryis dependent upon the type of surgery.  Rotator cuff surgery involves cutting one or more of the references muslces and reattaching them.

In patients with loss of shoulder cartilage the surgical options include humeral hemiarthroplasty and total joint replacement.

In all cases there is a significant amount of immobilization which can result in muscle weakness and atrophy. 


 Rehabilitation is aimed at re-strengthening the weakened muscles and restoring function.  Unfortunately this can be a long and painful process.

Patients that have a rotator cuff tear or ligament tear now have an alternative to shoulder surgery and the extensive recovery time.  At Regenexx, a patient’s own stem cells are utilized to repair the damaged muscle or ligament.  It is a simple needle in, needle out procedure that does not expose the patient to the inherent risks of surgery or anesthesia.  The stem cells are placed under x-ray guidance into the area of damage.  This simple needle procedure can replace the scalpel and avoid theextensive recovery time from shoulder surgery.

Please click testimonal of a patient what underwent successfull repair of torn rotator cuff following a failed surgery.

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