For many athletes their shoulders are a major part of their game. Tennis players use their shoulders for their powerful serves. Baseball pitchers use their shoulder to eliminate their opponents one pitch at a time. Clearly, shoulders play a major role in many athletic performances. However, what happens to an athlete when their shoulder tears or tendonitis takes place? Shoulder injuries take a huge toll on an athletes performance and ability to play their game successfully.
Most conventional methods of correcting a shoulder injury are with arthroscopic surgery or invasive surgeries to repair the joint. These surgeries correct the condition but have many negative side affects that are associated. After an extensive surgery a patient will have an increase of scar tissue in the joint, which will forever reduce their range of motion. Also, after the initial surgery months of physical rehabilitation are required to strengthen the joint back to health. This surgical process is long and tedious for many athletes and many times their joint is restored to only about 60-70% at best.
Currently, Regenerative Medicine is a new field of medicine exploring ways to restore tissues of the body without invasive and problematic procedures. By harvesting bone marrow or fat cells a qualified physician can isolate mesenchymal stem cells from these tissues. Once a stem cell source is isolated the physician can re-administer these cells in the area of trauma and injury.
These stem cells can now be placed in the shoulder and there they take action and help repair and restore function of the joint. This is done through two mechanisms. One, the stem will divide into many new cells replacing lost and damaged cells. Second, stem cells will release growth factors and cytokines that will help restore native cells and increase native cell numbers for repair. These two processes are natural ways to help restore shoulder joint function without surgical intervention. Stem cell therapy is a new and beneficial way to help athletes with shoulder injuries continues playing their game with increased results when compared to conventional surgeries.
Copyright © 2012 Alex Martin MD & Devin Stone, Los Angeles.