Study Shows Asymptomatic Rotator Cuff Tears More Common in Diabetic Patients

by Chris Centeno, MD /

A study out this month shows that rotator cuff tears in the shoulder are common in elderly patients with diabetes. This makes sense, as based on our stem cell culture experience with Regenexx-C, diabetic patients were less likely to have stem cells capable of growing to high numbers in culture. This study showed more shoulder joint effusions (swelling) in diabetics as well as swollen tendons (such as biceps). In addition, diabetics had more tears in the supraspinatus (one of the muscles of the shoulder rotator cuff). The authors discussed that in diabetics, routine shoulder imaging with ultrasound may be a good way to prevent major tears from occurring. This also would be a great application for stem cell therapies like Regenexx-SD or Regenexx-SCP, where injections of these cells could be performed using ultrasound guidance to deliver cells to the exact weak areas and minor tears, hopefully to prevent a full thickness rotator cuff tear from developing (one that might only be successfully treated with higher risk surgery). This approach may make financial sense as well, since shoulder rotator cuff surgery is less successful in diabetics when compared to patients without diabetes. If you add this shoulder treatment approach to the success we’ve already seen in helping patients with rotator cuff tears avoid surgery by injecting their own stem cells, this may be a great way to deploy stem cell therapies for shoulder problems in the future.

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

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.
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Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
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Many Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

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