Stem Cell Therapy for Shoulder Injuries
With the advances in cellular medicine, stem cell therapy is now available to treat soft tissue injuries to the shoulder. The MRI is critical in determining whether or not a patient is a candidate for stem cell treatment. If there is partial tearing of cartilage, ligaments and tendons, stem cell therapy offers an alternate to extended periods of physiotherapy and arthroscopic treatment in many cases.
Commercial stem cells are now available and approved to be use in such procedures. The patient’s own stem cells may also be harvested in a painless extraction of marrow from the hip. The patient is made comfortable with pain medication and the targeted area of the shoulder injected with stem cells following the guide to the pathology set out by the MRI.
Patients are requested to limit use of the treated joint for two to four weeks to enable the stem cells to adhere to the damaged tissue and not to be driven out into the peripheral circulation. The procedure is sometimes repeated within six months if more treatment is required but most patients state a single treatment is sufficient.