New Way to Repair Rotator Cuff Injuries Using Stem Cells
Dr. Nikhil Verma at Rush (MOR) is one of three Chicago shoulder surgeons actively recruiting patients with rotator cuff injuries to participate in a clinical trial using stem cell injections. Criteria for patients is as follows:
• Age 18 to 70 years with significant shoulder pain
• Must be willing to undergo initial evaluation and imaging to determine if pain is caused by a rotator cuff injury
• Determined to be a candidate for surgical rotator cuff repair
The rotator cuff consists of a group of four muscles responsible for moving and stabilizing the shoulder joint. These muscles and surrounding ligaments can tear because of an injury, chronic overuse or from aging. The first line of defense for rotator cuff injury recommended by orthopedic surgeons is a non-surgical remedy, such as ice, anti-inflammatories or cortisone injections.
However, if the pain and loss of mobility still continue and imaging reveals a rotator cuff tear, surgeons may perform arthroscopic surgery to reattach the torn tendon to the bone using a tiny camera (arthroscope) to help guide them as they work through small incisions. Arthroscopic tendon repair can provide restoration of the patient’s normal anatomy with a relatively pain-free procedure.
Stem cells can be extracted from human tissue and when transplanted to another part of the body, can multiply to produce more stem cells. Recent studies have shown stem cell injections used during rotator cuff repair surgery improve the tendon healing process and decrease the likelihood of it tearing again. Chicago shoulder surgeons at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, are conducting this study to determine how stem cell injections affect the healing process for patients with rotator cuff injuries. Orthopedic surgeons involved in the study include: Dr. Brian Cole, Dr. Anthony Romeo and Dr. Nikhil Verma.