Mark’s Rotator Cuff Tear and Amazing Bench Press

I’m an amateur weightlifter. Meaning I got to a certain point of strength and decided that my aging body and frame had hit their max. However, I have great respect for the guys that have the desire and frame to really explore what the human body is capable of lifting. Hence, I’d like to highlight a patient today who’s doing just that after skipping a rotator cuff repair surgery by using a Regenexx procedure.

What is the Rotator Cuff?

The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles around the shoulder that provide strength and stability. These tendons can get damaged, either through specific trauma or wear and tear. When that happens, if physical therapy fails, surgical repair is often the next step.

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Mark’s Shoulder and a Previous Blog

Mark is a 44-year-old weightlifter who had a high-grade supraspinatus tendon tear. The supraspinatus is the upper part of the rotator cuff complex in the shoulder. This was a pretty big tear, which had a little retraction as well (where a part of the tendon has two ends that are pulled back). Be sure to watch my video below to see the before and after MRI of his shoulder. I did a blog and a video on Mark’s early rotator cuff tear healing results in 2018:

With our help, Mark avoided rotator cuff surgery. How? The patient was treated by then Centeno-Schultz fellow Chris Williams, M.D. and received a precise high-dose bone marrow concentrate (BMC) injection which was rich in his own stem cells. This was a highly precise injection into his rotator cuff tear using ultrasound guidance. Six months later, the after-procedure MRI (seen in the video) demonstrated about 50% improvement in his rotator cuff tear. By 20 months after the procedure, he reported feeling 80% to 90% recovered and shared a video of a major bench press achievement.

Where is Mark’s Shoulder 4 Years Later?

It’s now almost 6 years since Mark’s shoulder rotator cuff tear was treated, so how is he now? Mark recently shared this award as a way to let us know how his shoulder is doing. He benched 408 pounds! Given that his original rotator cuff tear in 2016 was on a bench of 325 pounds, I’d say that’s a pretty great result for skipping surgery and using the power of his own cells to help his shoulder!

The upshot? Do I recommend that my shoulder rotator cuff tear patients take up powerlifting? Not really, but it’s sure fun to see where these new non-surgical technologies can take motivated people!

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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