Stemcelldoc's Weblog

January 30, 2009

Rotator Cuff Patches

Tears of rotator cuff  are commonly repaired surgically where the damaged tendon is sutured or stapled onto bone.  stapling-of-tendon

Failures can occur due to breakdown of the “repaired tendon.  Rotator cuffs patches offer a possible solution.

Rotator cuff patches are commercial products which  are placed  during surgery over the repaired rotator cuff tendon.  The goal is to reinforce soft-tissue and facilitate tendon healing.  Just as your grandmother might have patched a hole in your jeans with a swatch of cloth, surgeons add a patch over the  repaired rotator cuff.

Several products are available which come from different sources, including  the dermis (skin) and small intestine submucosa from humans as well from porcine (pig) and  bovine (cow) donors.  Insertion of tissue not originating from the patient can result in many problems including inflammation and rejection.  Remember all the problems women suffered from silicone implants despite the fact they were reported to be safe by the FDA?  Another problem is the strength of the patch. One study demonstrated that the elastic strength of all currently-available materials is lower than that of tendon, implying a limited mechanical role in strengthening tendon repair.

Stem cell therapy for regeneration of torn rotator cuffs in now available through Regenexx.  It is a simple needle-in, needle-out procedure which enables the patient to use their own stem cells and forgo the risks of surgery, anesthesia, possible inflammation and rejection of a graft made from the skin or intestine from a cow or pig. Below is MRI demonstrating a tear in the rotator cuff which was successfully repaired using stem cell therapy at Regenexx.

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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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