New findings: Shoulder Surgery Recovery Can Be Improved With Stem Cells Treatment

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In March 2015, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons held a meeting where a new technique for shoulder surgery treatment was revealed by a group of French researchers. According to the study, injection of the patient’s bone marrow stem cells into the shoulder during rotator cuff surgery can significantly improve the shoulder surgery recovery and tendon durability.

shoulder surgery recovery

Dr. Philippe Hernigou, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Paris and a lead researcher, presented the findings of the study.

“This research represents a major breakthrough in the world of shoulder surgery and shoulder surgery recovery. These findings suggest that stem cell therapy during shoulder rotator cuff surgery leads to higher healing rates and fewer failures. I caution all that this is only one study and needs to be corroborated by other studies from around the world and in the US that confirm the same findings.” – says Dr. Armin Tehrany M.D., lead orthopedic surgeon at Manhattan Orthopedic Care.

One of the greatest benefits of stem cell treatments is that it significantly reduces the risk of re-tears in the shoulder. Re-tears are common after rotator cuff surgery and may require revision surgery which has an increased risk of post-operative complications. Over 2 million Americans undergo rotator cuff repair surgery to re-attach the shoulder rotator cuff tendon to the head of the upper arm bone known as the proximal humerus.

The French study presented in March was performed on 90 patients. Half of them underwent conventional shoulder surgery, the other half received injections of bone marrow concentrate and stem cells during the surgery.

Six months after surgery, all of the patients who received stem cell therapy had completely healed rotator cuff tendons. On the other hand, only 67% of the patients who did not receive stem cell therapy had full recovery. After 10 years, intact rotator cuffs were found in 87 percent of the stem cell patients, but in only 44 percent of those who underwent conventional surgery.