Stem Cell Assisted Surgery for Shoulder Conditions

Stem Cell Assisted Shoulder Surgery


Shoulder pain may result from several conditions including tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, labral tears, fractures, dislocations or sprains and strains. While a lot of these conditions with chronic shoulder pain are successfully treated nonoperatively, an unfortunate percentage will fail and need to consider a surgical procedure.


Thankfully, stem cell assisted shoulder surgery now has a significant body of research detailing the benefits of the biology in helping patients heal better, and faster!


When it comes to rotator cuff repair, there is a very high failure rate both in the short and long term at the area where the tendon is re-attached to the bone. Studies have shown the failure rate to range 20-90% in various studies! The worse the tear, the higher the retear rate.The main reason for this is when left to heal after repair, the human body tends to form considerable scar tissue and fatty infiltration occurs. No one wants or needs that, but it’s common.


When biologic augmentation is utilized with stem cell regenerative materials, the outcomes are dramatically different. A 2014 study looking at rotator cuff repair augmented with stem cells showed an improvement of the healing rate to 100% by six months, versus only 67% without. Interestingly this same study showed that at the ten year follow up time point, 87% of the stem cell augmented patients maintained intact rotator cuffs, versus only 44% in the conventional group.


Rotator cuff tears have a terrible effect on the natural ability to heal. A hostile non-healing environment results, and when a conventional repair is performed it gets even worse. Doctors writing in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine stated, “Tears within the tendon substance or at its insertion into the humeral head represent a considerable clinical challenge because of the hostile local environment that precludes healing.”


The goal, then, with stem cell augmentation is to turn a hostile, non-healing joint environment into one that heals great. In the American Journal of Sports Medicine, a Korean group of surgeons found that using stem cells reduced retear and high surgical failure rates in the arthroscopic repair of massive rotator cuff tears.

Surgical technique alone is not going to improve the healing environment any more. It needs biology to augment the results. An additional study in International Orthopedics also showed that 100% of those studied showed intact healing at 12 months post-operatively. In addition, this correlated with satisfactory pain relief and improved function.


There is nothing worse than undergoing a significant surgical procedure on the shoulder, and then failing months later. This would require a revision procedure, with additional potential complications. The usage of stem cell assisted surgery for your shoulder entails minimal risk from the biologic and is covered by insurance.


Why do these stem cell treatments work so well? There are quite a few reasons, with the first being they contain a slew of regenerative materials such as growth factors, cytokines, mRNA, exosomes, secretomes and many additional elements. So not only is the biologic material itself assisting with healing, but it is also signaling healing elements within your own body to participate in the process.

Here is a short list of benefits seen from the regenerative materials used during surgery:

  • No rejection from the patient – there are no DNA factors in these materials so they are biologically compatible.
  • Reduction in scar tissue – amazingly, in addition to helping with soft tissue and bony healing, the biologic acts as an adhesion barrier. So less scar tissue results!
  • Faster healing – it takes your own body quite a while to mobilize the necessary healing “army”. In the case of one’s shoulder, it has been shown it is a hostile non-healing environment. The regenerative biologics are able to overcome this hostility and help one’s surgery site heal. The research discussed above is a testament to this!

All Stem Cell Assisted SurgeryTM Certified Centers use amniotic and umbilical cord stem cell therapies to assist in your healing. No harvest from you is necessary, and the materials come from FDA certified labs. No embryonic stem cells are used, and there are no issues with aborted fetuses. In fact, the “products of conception” are obtained after a scheduled C-section, where the mother is consented and heavily screened. The babies are fine!





  • Kim SJ, Song DH, Park JW, Park S, Kim SJ. Effect of Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Platelet-Rich Plasma on Tendon Derived Stem Cells and Rotator Cuff Tendon Tear. Cell Transplant. 2017 Jan 20. doi: 10.3727/096368917X694705.


  • Yoon JP, Chung SW, Kim JY, Lee BJ, Kim HS, Kim JE, Cho JH. Outcomes of Combined Bone Marrow Stimulation and Patch Augmentation for Massive Rotator Cuff Tears. Am J Sports Med. 2016 Apr;44(4):963-71. doi: 10.1177/0363546515625044. Epub 2016 Feb 5.


  • Mora MV, Ibán MA, Heredia JD, Laakso RB, Cuéllar R, Arranz MG. Stem cell therapy in the management of shoulder rotator cuff disorders. World J Stem Cells. 2015 May 26;7(4):691-9. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v7.i4.691.
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