Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injuries, the Next Step in Regenerative Medicine
The rotator cuff refers to a group of four muscles and their respective tendons which attach these muscles to the bones of the upper arm (humerus). These muscles and their attaching tendons wrap around the shoulder joint and lie in a space that exists between the top of the humerus and the end of the scapula (wing bone) known as the acromion. In certain individuals this space may become too narrow and the tendons of the rotator cuff become “pinched” resulting in inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and associated bursitis of the bursa sack which is intended to allow the tendons to glide more easily in this area. When this occurs, diagnosis of impingement syndrome with associated bursitis is made. Traditionally, steroid injections along with physical therapy has been used, however, we have found that our program is more effective in providing long term pain relief.
The rotator cuff muscles are also susceptible to tearing associated with trauma. While rotator cuff tears can occur with aging and cause no symptoms, traumatic injury to the rotator cuff can also be the source of significant pain. The pain can be located in the shoulder but also can radiate into the upper arm. It is usually worsened by movement of the arm and causes difficulty with sleeping on the affected side. Treatment is often conservative including physical therapy. Cortisone injections are often used but can actually cause a breakdown of normal tissue. Biologic treatments not only can provide a reduction in pain but can assist in repair of damaged tissue and certainly do not cause steroid-like tissue degeneration.
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