Stem Cells are an Alternative to Shoulder Surgery
Many patients have turned to Stem Cell Therapy as a better alternative to shoulder surgery, with an easier and faster recovery and with significantly less complications.
Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal disorder, after back and neck pain. Non-traumatic shoulder pain is most often due to degenerative and inflammatory processes, including disorders of the rotator cuff, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) and osteoarthritis. Among these, rotator cuff tendon tear is one of the most common causes of chronic shoulder pain and disability.
Shoulder surgery is often recommended as a treatment for several shoulder pain conditions. However, as with most surgeries, shoulder surgery has some risks, including pain, blood clots, reactions to anesthesia, infections or muscle loss. Also, it requires being hospitalized for a few days. The recovery from surgery may be relatively slow and painful, often requiring a period of several months with restricted use of the shoulder, followed by a period of physical rehabilitation that can last several months. In many cases, shoulder functionality may not be fully recovered after surgery, which can limit shoulder movements.
- Shoulder Injuries
- Shoulder Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Arthritis of the Shoulder
- Rotator Cuff Partial Tears
- Shoulder Arthritis
- Labral Tears of the Shoulder
- Shoulder Bursitis, Subacromial Bursitis
- Acromioclavicular Joint Dysfunction
- Biceps Tendon Inflammation or Biceps Tendinosis
- Chronic Glenohumeral Ligament Sprains
- Levator Scapulae Tendinosis
How Does Stem Cell Therapy for Shoulder Pain Work?
Stem cells are part of our body’s natural healing resources. They continually renew our cells throughout our body. Unlike other cells, stem cells have the unique ability to develop into a wide range of cells, including those needed to repair tissues in the shoulder. The aim of using Stem Cell Therapy is to support the self-healing process of the shoulder and its associated tissues, reverse disease progression and suppress inflammatory reactions that can worsen pain, leading to symptom relief and recovery of shoulder function.
At the Boston Stem Cell Center, we aim to utilize a patient’s own stem cells to repair the shoulder naturally. Stem cells exist in high concentrations in the bone marrow and fat, which can be aspirated with minimal discomfort, and then injected into the affected area of the shoulder along with concentrated platelet rich plasma. Platelet rich plasma is a portion of the patient’s own blood that is obtained by a simple method of centrifuging a blood sample.
Platelet rich plasma has a high concentration of growth factors that activate the stem cells and that prompt them to produce additional growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines, thereby changing the environment in the shoulder from inflammatory to healing and regenerating. Stem cells will then begin to heal the shoulder by stimulating cellular proliferation and local repair processes, and by reducing inflammation, resulting in pain relief and improved function.
Typically, a single stem cell injection should be sufficient to yield good results for most shoulder problems. This is usually combined with additional platelet rich plasma injections to reinforce the activity of stem cells. We do all our stem cell procedures under ultrasound or X-Ray fluoroscopic guidance to increase accuracy and decrease the likelihood of complications.
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The biggest reason why stem cell therapy is a popular alternative to joint replacement or joint surgery is the fast recovery time. Stem cell therapy is an outpatient procedure which takes only a few hours to complete after the stem cells are harvested. After the injections, the recovery time will differ from patient to patient. However, generally speaking, stem cells will often heal the damage areas, allowing patients to return to their normal activities, within several weeks. In many cases, patients can walk around within 24 hours.
Stem cell therapy is a safe alternative to joint replacement or surgery. Since stem cells are a natural part of your body and we only use stem cells that were abstracted from the patient’s blood, the risk of infections or rejection is minimal.
Is Stem Cell Treatment Right For You?
Although Stem Cell Treatment is considered by some people to be experimental, various research studies show that regenerative stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma injections can provide excellent relief from joint and musculoskeletal pain and ongoing inflammation.