Rotator cuff tears are the most common cause of shoulder pain and can cause symptoms of shoulder weakness, pain when lifting or lowering the shoulder and pain at night.
Tears can happen suddenly after a fall or can occur slowly over time. The incidence of rotator cuff tears increases with age.
Determining the integrity of the rotator cuff tear is essential in deciding between surgical and non-surgical treatment.
NOT all Rotator Cuff Tears Need Surgery
Your shoulder has 4 rotator cuff tendons. Most tears occur in the supraspinatus tendon, but other tendons can be involved.
The type of tear often dictates the treatments:
Common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear includes:
Pain is typically felt over the outside of the shoulder, but can also occur over the front or back of teh shoulder. Not all tears cause pain, and 20% of cases are asymptomatic meaning they don't cause any symptoms.
Conservative treatment is effective in 73–80% of patients. Physical therapy can help compensate for a damaged tendon, and
the pain can resolve even if the tear does not close.
However, not all patients respond to conservative management and over time partial tears can progress to full thickness tears.
MRI or ultrasound is often used to diagnose rotator cuff tears. In experienced hands, ultrasound has similar accuracy to an MRI.
However, despite imaging, partial tears can be missed over 50% of the time on an MRI. It can be challenging clinically to differentiate a biceps tendon tear and a rotator cuff tear, and in some cases, we use diagnostic injections to help differentiate the source of pain.
Surgery should be your last option. The characteristics of the tear can help determine if you are a good candidate for one of these alternative treatments.
Not all physicians performing ultrasound-guided procedures are adequately trained, and PRP or autologous stem cell injections are an advanced technique. It is important that your physician has training in advanced-imaging placement.
In addition, not all PRP and stem cell injections are the same. At Boston Sports & Biologics we use autologous PRP and mesenchymal stem cell products that are compliant with FDA guidelines for homologous use and use 501k FDA cleared devices to harvest and process your own cells to stimulate your native cells to regenerate.
PRP kits used for cosmetics or aesthetics may not have the adequate does of cells for orthopedic indications. The quality of the PRP and injection technique can impact the changes of success. Learn more about these procedures here.
Learn more about regenerative injections for rotator cuff tears, including how PRP can help avoid surgery
Learn about the latest research on BMAC injections and rotator cuff tears. Bone marrow aspirate concentrate, or BMAC, is a safe and reliable source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs),
Bone marrow aspirate concentrate injections are one of the few forms of stem cell delivery in compliance with the US FDA guidelines.
To see you are a candidate and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sussman contact Us At:
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