The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. As such, it is one of the most important parts of the shoulder. The rotator cuff allows individuals to lift their arms and reach overhead, and injury to this area can cause a significant amount of discomfort and decline in quality of life. Whether it is inflammation, bruising, or tearing, rotator cuff injuries can cause a near constant dull ache, contribute to weakness in the affected arm, disrupt sleep and make everyday tasks difficult or painful.
While this type of injury commonly affects those who repeatedly perform overhead motions at work or in sports (think construction workers or tennis players), injury can result from many different actions. Breaking a fall, a car accident, bone spurs, and even everyday activity like hanging curtains can be the culprit.
In the recent past, rotator cuff treatments were often limited to physical therapy, steroid injections and surgery. However, a growing area of medicine called regenerative therapy has shown remarkable results and holds great promise as a non-surgical option.
During regenerative therapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP) is injected into the treatment site, stimulating the body’s natural healing response in the damaged tissue. As a non-invasive, non-surgical option, regenerative therapy offers significant benefits when other modes of therapy have not resulted in the desired outcome. With regenerative therapy, patients can benefit in several ways.
Avoid Surgery and the Resulting Complications
Rotator cuff surgery is a major operation. Aside from the inherent risks of any surgery and a long recovery period, possible complications of rotator cuff surgery can include nerve injury, constant pain or stiffness, damage or detachment of the deltoid, and the need for repeated surgery. The need for post-operative narcotic painkillers can also become an issue with significant risks and downsides (see also our recent article about the dangers of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs). It is important to note that medications do not actually heal the injury—they simply reduce inflammation and pain. By contrast, regenerative therapy heals the injury itself.
Our treatment protocol involves a single treatment and a re-evaluation after six months to determine if additional treatments are necessary. With regenerative therapy, there is no downtime as in surgery. Patients can resume normal activities right away.
Since one of the main risk factors of rotator cuff injury is age, the number of injuries is expected to grow as our population ages. Luckily, the body of research showing the benefits of regenerative injection therapy is also growing. The human musculoskeletal system, although capable of amazing things, is somewhat delicate, easily damaged and difficult to repair. A solid stretching and conditioning program is recommended to avoid potential injury. For patients looking for a way to heal, increase range of motion, decrease pain and get their functionality back, regenerative therapy is a viable option. Give us a call today to discuss the options that may be available to you.
If you suffer from OA or knee pain, contact us schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the treatment options that we offer.