Your Health- Using stem cells for recovery following rotator cuff surgery

Health Reports

Stem cells have been around for a while with claims of helping patients to heal better faster, but is it really true?

Here are more details on a new study that looks into stem cells and rotator cuff surgery.

David Manion is an active fisherman, golfer, and sculptor. Three years ago however, he was sidelined by pain in his right shoulder.

“Pretty much shut me down. I like to take care of myself and I like to take care of the people around me and I definitely was not able to do that,” said David Manion, Patient.

Manion knew he would have to get rotator cuff surgery, but there are some risks involved.

“Even though we repair the tendon, we stitch it back into place. About 20% of the time it may not heal,” said Dr. Nikhil Verma, MD, Midwest Orthopedics at Rush.

This means that patients can still have some functional issues such as pain after surgery or even require a second surgery.

That is why Dr. Verma wants to see if he can harness the body’s own healing power to heal better and faster.

In a trial of rotator cuff surgery patients, he collected and injected stem cells into half of the patients during surgery and then looked at the MRI scans a year later.

In the group that got the stem cells, we could see a market improvement in the appearance of the tendon compared to the group that did not get the stem cells,” said Dr. Verma.

Manion participated in the trial and was part of the group that got the stem cells. His recovery went so well he decided to do the stem cells again when his left shoulder gave out.

“It worked out really well for me last time. Can I do it again?” asked Manion.

Three days after surgery. Manion no longer needed pain meds, and three weeks out he is eager to pick up where he left off.

“It’s hard to stop me actually. I’m told by my daughter and wife all the time stop picking stuff up,” said Manion.

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