Shoulder Pain and Stem Cells
Shoulder pain may have many etiologies. When the pain arises from a supraspinatus tear it poses difficulty especially with sports. The supraspinatus is one of 4 muscles that comprise the rotator cuff. Of the 4 muscles that form the rotator cuff the distal supraspinatus tendon inserts on the greater tuberosity. It also traverses under the acromium and is subject to wear and tear by impingement.
Of the rotator cuff muscles the supraspinatus functions to initiate shoulder elevation (abduction). When a tear occurs it makes elevation of the arm difficult. Activities overhead and upper extremity sports become more difficult. For these reasons patients are looking for alternatives to shoulder surgery and are increasing looking at Regenerative Medicine as an alternative. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy are regenerative techniques used to treat supraspinatus and rotator cuff disorders.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a technique in which the patients blood is drawn and concentrated to yield a higher level of platelets which release growth factors to aid in the healing process. Stem cells may regenerate tissue and are potent Immumodulatory cells. This means the stem cells can decrease inflammation in the joint. The healing potential of stem cells is an attractive and viable alternative to shoulder surgery when it comes to Supraspinatus tear treatment.