How can Regenerative Medicine help heal rotator cuff tears of the shoulder?

The glenohumeral joint labrum is a soft tissue structure located in the shoulder joint. It is responsible for cushioning and shock absorption during dynamic shoulder movements. This structure is susceptible to injuries in athletes and individuals who are very active with repetitive overhead motions.

Labrum tissue are fibrous rings of cartilage tissue, which are mostly avascular, which is why they tend to heal slowly. The labrum serves to add depth to the socket and provides shock absorption as well as providing an anchor point for other structures in the shoulder.  Tearing and fraying of the labrum can lead to inflammation, which over time leads to scar tissue formation and chronic pain.

Conservative treatment options for shoulder pain

Physical medicine is first done during acute labral tears of the shoulder to decrease pain and inflammation and work to strengthen and stabilize the surrounding muscles in the shoulder to help restore range of motion. Initially the clinician will work to get you out of pain before transitioning into the active care phase. Treatments will typically consist of approximately 4-6 weeks of physical therapy  and chiropractic care and may also include injection based medicine in order to further decrease the pain. Diagnostic testing, imaging and thorough physical examination help to pinpoint an accurate diagnosis when dealing with musculo-skeletal conditions.

Usually a course of physical therapy and chiropractic care consists of approximately 4-6 weeks of active treatment are completed in order to decrease pain/inflammation and restore mobility to the rotator cuff and shoulder joint complex. In chronic cases of shoulder pain patients are often led to believe that surgery is the next and final option. Regenerative medicine and injection-based procedures are often overlooked, leaving patients in chronic pain if they elect not to proceed with a surgical repair procedure.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for labral tears of the shoulder

Regenerative medicine, which includes adult stem cell therapy, platelet rich plasma therapy, and prolotherapy allows individuals suffering from chronic shoulder pain a chance to begin to live life pain free again.  This is a non- surgical solution for patients that have failed standard treatments.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a cutting edge treatment that uses the bodies own healing potential to repair damaged tissues with growth factors from your own blood plasma. By separating these components after drawing the blood, the healing properties can be injected back into the site of injury. Research shows PRP to be 500 times more effective than many other anti-inflammatories.

Once the concentrated plasma is taken from the blood the doctor will then re-inject the PRP onto the  site of injury. The process is fast and relatively painless.  The entire procedure is completed in our state-of-the-art surgical suite in less than an hour from start to finish.

PRP treatments usually consist of 1-3 treatments over the course of 4-6 weeks and are coupled with physical rehabilitation for optimal success. At Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine, our team uses an interdisciplinary approach to get you back to living an active lifestyle.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information, please feel free to contact one of our patient care coordinators at 908-754-1960 or you may contact us online.

About the Authors:

Joseph Mejia D.O., F.A.A.P.M.& R, is a graduate of University of Michigan and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Dr. Mejia received his Fellowship Training in Interventional Pain Management from University of Medicine and Dentistry. He has advanced training in Regenerative Medicine and is the Medical Director and Partner of Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.

Dane Hardy D.C. is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College. He is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician with licenses held in New Jersey. Dr. Hardy’s background in sports has influenced his treatment approach. He believes that the treatment of muscles and joints are an integral part of recovery. He specializes in soft tissue therapies that aide in the recovery of athletic related injuries. Dr. Hardy is a Chiropractic Physician at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.