I recently had the pleasure of seeing a gentleman from Bermuda who underwent stem cell therapy for shoulder pain relief, to avoid shoulder surgery and return to hiking approximately four years ago. He was ecstatic to share with me how well he has been doing. I first met the patient while giving a lecture on the benefits of stem cell therapy for the treatment of orthopedic injuries at the Vail Athletic Club.
The patient was initially very intrigued, but concerned about the logistics of carrying out this procedure since he resides in Bermuda. I explained to him that many of our patients come to have their procedures performed here in the Vail Valley after sending us their x-ray and MRI imaging and undergoing a phone/video consultation. After receiving the patients pertinent imaging data, I had a consultation with him in March of 2013.
The Patient Profile & Traditional Treatments Tried for Shoulder Pain
At the time, the patient was a 74-year-old gentleman in otherwise excellent health. His primary complaint concerned the ongoing soreness, stiffness and lack of mobility in his right shoulder. He had undergone a dislocation of the shoulder in 1982, but this had not recurred. Four months prior to my consult he had steadily been undergoing PT care and had also had a visco-supplementation injection.
None of this conservative care was greatly improving his pain or mobility. His imaging was significant for glenohumoral arthritis and a grade 2 AC joint separation. His daily pain scores ranged from 4 to 7 out of 10. He was finding that the loss of range of motion in the arm was impacting all of his sporting activities as well as his day to day discomfort.
The Stem Cell and PRP Procedure to Avoid Shoulder Surgery
In April 2013, the patient underwent a stem cell procedure with a combination of autologous fat derived adult stem cells, bone marrow concentrate and PRP which was injected under fluoroscopic injection into his glenohumoral joint and capsule, his AC joint and the distal supraspinatus tendon. He tolerated the procedure with light sedation and was discharged to home comfortably. He had very little need for post operative pain medication.
The patient was seen in my office again in March 2013 to undergo a booster injection of PRP. At that time he noted some mild improvement in his symptoms and felt that he had improved approximately 30% since his initial procedure. The PRP injection was performed without incident and the patient returned to Bermuda.
Short Term Results From Stem Cell Therapy for Shoulder Treatment
Aside from a couple quick notes that the patient had sent saying that things were going well, I had not been able to get a formal follow-up until Feb 2015. At that time the patient reported that he was significantly improved. He stated that his shoulder range of motion was back to 100%. He was back working out almost daily, which included hiking, biking, and spending time in the gym. He continues to ski and reports daily pain scores of 0/10 on most days.
Long Term Results of a Successful Treatment
In the fall of 2016, the patient stopped by my office to give me a personal update on his condition. He raved about how well his shoulder continues to perform. He stated that he never thought he we would see the day that he was pain free – and now he is. He a true believer in the benefits of adult stem cell therapy and continues to recommend patients from out of the country to receive care at thriveMD.