Arlene Abrams of Cleveland, Ohio is a patient who has dealt with shoulder pain for over a decade. Despite undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff in her right shoulder, after a few years she started experiencing significant pain as well as a limited range of motion again. MRI scans of her shoulders showed major tearing, damage, and retraction — the only surgical option from there was total shoulder replacement.
However, Arlene preferred to avoid undergoing another round of surgery to her shoulder if at all possible. Thanks to stem cell therapy, she has so far been able to stay off the operating table.
Instead of going through surgery, Arlene decided to try regenerative medicine, as practiced by Regenerative Medicine Specialists. This cutting-edge type of treatment allows the body to regenerate injured tissues by regenerating them from the patient’s own stem cells. The therapy stimulates previously damaged tissues to the point that they regain their structure and begin to recover. With stem cell therapy, Arlene’s pain went down while her range of motion went up.
Within a few weeks after the procedure — which was performed at the Cleveland Shoulder Institute — Arlene noticed that it no longer stressed her shoulders to hold her “wiggly” 4-month-old granddaughter. “I no longer have pain” when she picks up laundry soap or a gallon of milk, she said. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Regenerative techniques use adult stem cells taken from the patient, sometimes combined with blood platelets, in order to speed up healing and repair in bone, joint, muscle, soft tissue, as well as nerve injuries.
All of us carry around stem cells which act as the body’s “repairmen.” Healthy regenerative stem cells exist in fat, the bone marrow, as well as some forms of connective tissue. Regenerative treatments take these healthy cells from parts of the body that are rich in them, then inject the cells into injured parts of the body which need them.
Because the cells have been taken from the patient’s own tissue, there’s no risk of rejection when they’re injected into the injured area. Often using ultrasonic guidance to ensure precise placement, the doctor injects the extracted cells directly into the injured ligament, tendon, muscle, nerve, joint, or bone. There is no hospital stay required.
Arelene had her stem cell treatments “right there in the doctor’s office,” she said. She first started noticing improvements in both her limited range of motion and chronic pain “about two weeks” following the procedure, and her condition has “continued to significantly improve” since then.
Regenerative medicine may represent a viable alternative for many patients who are looking to avoid surgery or ongoing steroid treatments in ever larger numbers. It can help with many conditions ranging from osteoarthritis to rotator cuff injuries, meniscus tears, tennis elbow, muscle strains, tendonitis and tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, nonunion fractures, compression nerve injuries, and many more.
Regenerative Medicine Specialists are skilled in using stem cell therapy not just on its own but also in combination with other regenerative techniques for maximum effectiveness. Depending on the condition our doctors may recommend a particular type of therapy such as lipoaspirate or stromal vascular fraction, or with the use of platelet rich plasma, cytokine, or growth factor therapy.