Shoulder Regenerative Medicine

If your shoulder hurts, the most basic activities can be severely impacted and keep you from enjoying those things that you love to do. Basic movements such as putting on a shirt or reaching for a glass from a shelf above your head may become a burden, negatively impacting your daily activities. More intense activities such as sports may be impossible- you may be unable to play catch with your child, let alone participate in competitive sports. Regenerative Therapies present an exciting alternative for shoulder problems to steroid injections, and in some cases, surgery. Shoulder problems commonly respond well to therapeutic exercises, and when combined with Regenerative Therapy may provide substantial and enduring relief to common shoulder complaints.

Rotator Cuff Tears and Tendinopathies

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles (the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor) that are critical to coordinating the normal motion of the shoulder. Unfortunately, rotator cuffs are prone to common injuries that can dramatically decrease your ability to use your arm for ubiquitous activities that require reaching. As people age, the rotator cuff degenerates and can result in shoulder pain and diminished range of motion. The rotator cuff is commonly injured in sporting activities (e.g volleyball, tennis, Brazilian jiu jitsu) or traumatic injuries (e.g. car accidents). At RIC, we have seen excellent results for many of our patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy as well as partial rotator cuff tears. Shoulder surgery can be quite painful and take from 6 weeks to well over 6 months to recover. Regenerative therapy such as Stem Cell Therapy or PRP, combined with efficacious physical therapy, may provide pain relief and functional improvement, while potentially avoiding surgery.

Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Unfortunately, shoulder wear is an inevitability of aging. This most commonly affects the rotator cuff, and the cartilage and bone of the joint itself can become arthritic. While in-depth studies have not yet shown that this process can be reversed with regenerative therapies, the symptoms of an arthritic shoulder show great potential for improvement with Regenerative Therapies such as Stem Cell Therapy or PRP. Regenerative therapies show substantially more enduring results than typical steroid injections, and with much less risk and recovery time than total shoulder replacement. For appropriate patients, total shoulder arthroplasty may be a good option, however, many people would rather opt for regenerative therapies in lieu of sustaining a shoulder surgery that may take up to 6 months for recovery. Furthermore, regenerative therapy may be a good option for people with co-morbid conditions such as advanced cardiac or pulmonary problems who are not candidates for surgery/arthroplasty.

Labral Tears and Degeneration

The large shoulder joint (i.e. glenohumeral joint) is a complex structure that includes the shoulder blade (i.e. glenoid cavity of the scapula), which is shaped like a shallow cup that seats the head of the arm bone (humerus). This cup shape of the glenoid is shallow, but is expanded by a fibrocartilagenous structure called the labrum, which increases the depth of this cup shape to more securely hold the humeral head in place and allow for smooth motion. The structure is commonly torn and can become painful from athletic traumatic injuries, as well as aging. Regenerative Therapies can target this area and provide substantial improvement in pain and increase activities.

AC Joint Pain (i.e. Acromioclavicular Osteoarthritis, Osteolysis, and Separations)

The acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) is a small joint at the top of the shoulder that can cause big pain. It is commonly injured during weight training, can become arthritic from age, or may be injured from a traumatic event such as a vehicle accident. Using precise imaging guidance, RIC uses Regenerative Therapies such as Stem Cell Therapy or PRP in this joint and its surrounding ligaments to diminish pain and return you to your activities.