Stemcelldoc's Weblog

October 15, 2010

Another Success: Treatment of Supraspinatus Tear with Stem Cells

In a previous blog I discussed the clinical success of rotator cuff repair using expanded stem cell therapy.

Today we had the opportunity to review MRI images of an elderly patient who also underwent the Regenexx procedure 2 years ago for a supraspinatus tear.  AB  is an 80 y/o patient with neck, headache and shouder pain.  Her shoulder pain was severe and  she was unable to lift her shoulder.  She declined surgery and elected to proceed with mesenchymal stem cell therapy.  Her own stem cells were injected into the rotator cuff tear under x-ray guidance. 

To understand the differences in pre and post  MRI’s, some basic MRI concepts and anatomy is essential. 

The image above is the patient’s pre-injection coronal MRI.  The rotator cuff tendon is the area of interest.  The rotator cuff is compromised of 4 principle muscles.  Muscles have two parts:  the muscle belly and the attachment of the muscle to bone(tendon).  Tears in the rotator cuff commonly involve the tendon.

Above are AB’s pre and post MRI’s .  On the left the rotator cuff tendon(red arrows) are bright in color and mottled in appearance.  This means that it’s a full thickness tear with severe degeneration.  On the right is AB’s MRI 2 year post stem cell injection.  The rotator cuff tendon identified by the yellow arrows is better organized and darker in color consistent with significant healing.    This is consistent with her clinical improvement.  She reports 100% improvement in pain and  full range of motion.

October 13, 2010

Repair of Rotator Cuff Tear with Stem Cells

The rotator cuff is compromised of 4 principles muscles and their tendons:  supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor.  Collectively they stabilize the joint and allow for movement .  Tendons at the end of the rotator cuff muscles can become torn resulting in pain and restriction in motion.  The majority of tears occur in the supraspinatus tendon. Typical presentation includes pain with impaired motion. Surgical treatment often involves arthorscopic repair, subacromial decompression or use of an anchor to secure the tendon to the bone.  Surgical complications included fatty atrophy, re-tears of the rotator cuff,  infection and failure.

 JG is a 32y/o patient at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic who suffered shoulder injury after a motor vehicle accident.   Despite surgery in the form of subacromial decompression  JG continued to have shoulder pain.  Repeat MRI demonstrated near complete rotator cuff tear involving the supraspinatus.  He declined surgery and opted to undergo the Regenexx procedure whereby he could use his own mesenchymal stem cells

2 years after stem cell therapy JG reports greater than 90 % reduction in pain and full range of motion. Post stem cell injection MRI is posted below.  The supraspinatus tendon is outlined with red circle.  On the left there is a significant tear whereas on the right the tear is significantly improved.  This corresponds with JG’s clinical improvement.  Other patients have also undergone successful stem cell therapy for rotator tendon tears.

January 24, 2009

1 inch supraspinatus rotator cuff tear

The rotator cuff is compromised for four principle muscles:  the supraspinatous, teres minor, subscapularis and infraspinatus.  A rotator cuff tear  is usually the result of a sudden powerful raising of the arm against resistance.  Common examples include heavy weightlifting or falling on an outstretched arm.  Acute tears are associated with severe pain often shooting down the arm, limited range of motion and point tenderness at the site injury.

muscles-of-rotator-cuff3

The supraspinatus originates from the scapula (shoulder blade)  and attaches via a  tendon to the humerus.  It functions to stabilize the shoulder joint and enables one to raise their arm in the plane similar to a jumping jack.

supraspinatus1

Supraspinatus rotator cuff tears are often treated with surgery where the tendon is reinforced and stapled onto the humerus.  The surgery requires rotator cuff rehabilitation which can be painful and extensive. 

Stem cell therapy is now an alternative therapy for partial tears of the rotator cuff.  At Regenexx patients are able to use their own stem cells to repair partial tears in tendons and ligamentsRegenexx is a simple needle-in, needle-out procedure which enables patients to forgo surgery and the extensive rehabilitative process typically associated with rotator cuff surgery.

Please see images below where a patient used their own stem cells to repair a partial supraspinatus tear.

blog-rotator-cuff1supraspinatus rotater cuff tears.supraspinatos tears.stem cell therapy.1 inch supraspinatus rotator cuff tears. shoulder injuries.Regenexx.

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