Several years ago, we treated a famous actor’s shoulder rotator cuff tear with stem cells and he did well. This year he was acting with the actress that played the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Kristy Swanson) and heard how her husband had just torn his rotator cuff again while playing hockey. He recommended Regenexx and she looked up our Los Angeles Regenexx Network provider, Andy Blecher. Turns out the patient was also already a patient of Andy’s large orthopedics group, so the “stars” aligned for former Olympian Lloyd Eisler to get the Regenexx rotator cuff procedure. One thing led to another and several months ago I was asked to go on The Doctor’s TV Show in L.A. to educate the audience about our shoulder rotator cuff stem cell procedure. That piece aired yesterday.
The link to see Dr. Centeno talk about stem cells is above. Lloyd is a fantastic athlete and dad and we wish him a speedy recovery! For those that don’t know, we have been treating partial, complete non-retracted, and some retracted rotator cuff tears with precise ultrasound guidance of stem cells for some time now. For most tears there is no immobilization like you see for Lloyd, but his tear was bigger than most, so it needed special accommodations. This is a before and after MRI of another rotator cuff tear that is more similar to Lloyd’s. This is the shoulder rotator cuff tear registry data for 2013. We have a shoulder research paper that is being readied for submission to a journal that adds in 2014 data and a free randomized controlled trial that you can get involved in if you have a tear in your rotator cuff.
How would this work? Hernigou recently published a 12 year plus follow-up on the use of bone marrow concentrates on rotator cuff tears. The results were remarkable, in that the use of stem cells cut re-tear rates in half! The issue with rotator cuff tears is that they often lack the blood supply and intrinsic stem cell population to heal. So supplementing both, in our experience and in as the outcomes reported back to us by our patients through the registry, seems to help these tears heal.
The upshot? We believe strongly that there are non-operative ways to use precise injection with stem cells to help most patients with rotator cuff tears.