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Thu, 23 Sep 2021

What you need to know about rotator cuff injuries

A person experiences shoulder pain around their rotator cuff


A common cause of pain the shoulder is a rotator cuff tear. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint. When it is injured, it can weaken your shoulder and ache with pain. This type of injury is not only painful, but often inconvenient and makes daily activities difficult.

A torn rotator cuff can happen from an injury or degenerative issues. When it happens from an injury, it is commonly through repeated movements while playing sports, performing a job function or doing common household chores. Degenerative tears occur from the wearing down of the tendon that occurs slowly over time and naturally happens as we age.

Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear may include:

  • A dull ache in your shoulder
  • Pain with certain movements
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain gets worse when you try to sleep on the injured side
  • Muscle weakness in the arm
  • Shoulder pain worsens over time
  • Crackling sensation when your shoulder moves in certain directions

Ways to help prevent a rotator cuff tear include:

  • Exercise with focus on both the front muscles of the chest, shoulder, upper arm and back of the shoulder
  • Stretch and warm up prior to doing the activity
  • Use proper form and safe lifting techniques
  • Take frequent breaks

Treatment options for a rotator cuff tear:

Conservative treatments for a torn rotator cuff including rest, joint immobilization and physical therapy are sometimes all that is needed to find relief. Regenerative medicine is another non-invasive treatment option to talk with your doctor about. If the injury is severe, surgery may need to be considered.

Shoulder injuries such as a torn rotator cuff should be treated immediately to prevent further damage and to begin the healing process as soon as possible. See a physician right away if you have a sudden loss of motion after an injury, as you could have a substantial rotator cuff tear. If you have pain lasting longer than a few weeks or you’ve been formally diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear, you should see a shoulder specialist.

Contact Miller Orthopedic today to schedule your appointment.


Thu, 01 Oct 2020

What is Regenerative Medicine?

An illustrated image of red blood cells. Miller Orthopedic uses stem cells for regenerative medicine purposes.

Regenerative medicine is an emerging procedure that promotes healing at the cellular level. Our bodies can do incredible things and this treatment encourages faster healing, repairs tissue, reduces pain and speeds recovery time after injury or surgery. The process involves replacing or regenerating cells, tissues and organs for treating medical conditions.

Regenerative medicine stimulates the patient’s body to repair and heal. Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine that can grow and develop many different types of cells in your body. With a stem cell injection, the area treated can receive healing properties for damaged tissue, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone. Let’s explore more about this newer medical therapy.

Stem cells are used for treating all kinds of conditions, but just some of the orthopedic conditions include:

What are some of the benefits of this type of treatment?

A Less Painful Treatment Option

Regenerative medicine targets tissue in the exact place to provide the greatest help. During healing, you will feel far less pain than you would from an injury and surgery. The risk of complications from this procedure is low. The pain typically subsides in three days or less and is usually well tolerated. The risk of infection is very low but is not non-existent.

Faster Healing Time

The growth factors used in regenerative medicine help kickstart the process, leading to faster healing. Healing is boosted by concentrating and precisely targeting cells to where they’re needed most. Orthopedic Doctors, like Dr. Larose and Dr. Atteberry, perform these injections directly into the area of injury or damage. While recovery time varies by person, many patients start to feel better and see improvement within 1-3 months. Every patient is different and the amount of damage before the procedure can impact how quickly one recovers.

Other benefits include:

  • Customized treatments to fit your needs
  • Supports long-term healing
  • Prolongs the need for potential surgery
  • Simple and quick procedure
  • Safe for your body

What are the treatment types and how do they work?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) – PRP is a concentration of platelets and growth factors created from a small amount of your own blood. Platelets are concentrated down to a cellular level. Outside of the bloodstream these platelets become activated and release important proteins to help increase growth levels and improved signaling of recruitment cells. This procedure is usually done in less than half an hour.

Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP) – A small amount of your blood is collected and goes through a rapid spinning process that separates and concentrates platelets. The main difference between this and PRP is that the platelets get spun down and concentrated further with ACP using the Arthex Angel System. The process takes place in less than an hour.

Amniotic Fluid (AF) – AF is a protein-rich fluid with proven regenerative potential. Amnion contains growth factors and proteins essential to healing that reduce scar formation, reduce inflammation, and support soft tissue regeneration. This fluid has a complex range of growth factors and anti-inflammatory properties that are injected into your body. 

Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) – BMC is a concentration of stem cells, platelets and growth factors created from your own bone marrow. Increased levels of growth factors can improve signaling and recruitment of cells for faster healing. Local anesthesia is applied and some bone marrow is removed. It is then filtered down to retrieve the stem cells. Then, the stem cells get injected in or around the location of the injured joint or tissue.

To find out if regenerative medicine treatments are right for you, make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at Miller Orthopedic today.


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