Center for Pain Management & Rehabilitation
Midwest Joint Pain Institute, SC
PHONE: 309 689 8888
FAX: 309 689 8410

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Therapy for Shoulder Rotator Cuff tear:
A Case Report

CPMR and Midwest Joint Pain Institute in Peoria, IL are dedicated to provide most advanced medical technologies to help people resolve their chronic joint pain and sport injury with most effective and non-surgical approaches. Dr. Yibing Li and her team are among the frontiers for stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine nationally and internationally. Here is one of our patient's successful story on stem cell therapy.

Case Description: A 50-year- old male complained of right shoulder pain, “popping and clicking” with shoulder movements for one month after boxing. He couldn’t raise right arm above his shoulder. He had difficulty sleeping at night because of the shoulder pain. He had previous right shoulder pain from rotate calf tendons and labrum tear, the pain was resolved from a series of prolotherapy and PRP injection over a year ago after failure of rest, NSAIDs, PT, etc. On the physical exam, he had reduced right shoulder range of motion to 50% normal. He had focal tenderness anterior right shoulder with (+) Hawkin’s test and (-) drop arm test. MSK ultrasound exam reviewed two large incomplete tears in the right subscapularis tendon, measured at 0.33 cm x 0.31 cm and 0.54 cm x 0.31 cm, respectively. He also had chronic and diffuse rotator cuff tendinopathy. Due to the recurrent injury and tendon tears, he decided to pursue bone marrow stem cell therapy. He received 14 cc of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and growth factors injection from bone marrow aspiration to the torn subscapularis and other rotator cuff tendons with sterile techniques and imaging guidance at Center for Pain management and Rehab (CPMR), our outpatient regenerative medicine clinic. The whole procedure last a few hours without IV sedation and he was discharged home without any complications.

Result: On the one month follow- up visit, he reported his right shoulder pain markedly reduced, he can sleep well at night. He can raise his right arm over the shoulder without pain. His shoulder ROM is nearly 90% normal range. On the repeated ultrasound exam, his previous torn subscapularis tendon had totally healed. (See the pictures before and after treatment). In three months after the stem cell therapy, he was ready to go back to boxing.

Discussion: The adult bone marrow is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and growth factors. The bone marrow stem cell injection therapy allows our own body to restore, repair and regenerate damaged tissues and organs. Many research studies show that MSCs are primitive cells with capacities to self-replicate, fight apoptosis, reduce inflammation and differentiate into multiple tissues, including bone, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and fat. Due to the poor healing process from injuries or aging changes to the avascular structures, such as tendon, ligaments, cartilage, meniscus, labrums, etc., the patients usually suffer from the chronic joint pain and disability. Traditional treatments with NSAIDS, pain medications and arthroscopic surgeries are usually either not effective , lack of long term success or carrying significate risks and requiring prolonged healing time. The regenerative therapies with direct injections with MSCs and growth factors injection to the those damaged tissues have clinically proven to be very simple procedures and highly effective treatments by targeting to resolve the root of chronic painful conditions with no downtime and very low risk or complications.

Conclusion: Bone marrow stem cell therapy is potentially very effective and alternative treatment to shoulder pain from incomplete rotator cuff tears and tendinopathy with very minimum risks, complications and side effects compared to current most traditional treatment options.

Before Stem Cell Therapy - Two Large Subcapularis Tears

One Month After Stem Cell Therapy - Both Tears Healed

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Expected Cost

Cost varies, depending on the number and the anatomical location of the injections you receive.

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Expected Recovery Time

The majority of patients find that recovery is fast and they are back to their normal activities quickly!

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Expected Benefits

PRP is a safe, non-surgical procedure that can stimulate healing and help eliminate acute and chronic pain.