Orthopedic injury or disease affects millions of Americans


The shoulder is a very complex joint and allows more mobility than any other joint in the body.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons located in the shoulder that helps keep the upper arm bone located in the shallow socket of the shoulder joint.

Rotator cuff injury occurs more often in people who raise their arms over their heads and is more common in certain occupations such as automotive mechanic, a carpenter or painter. Athletes like baseball pitchers and people who play tennis are also at an increased risk for this type of injury. Medical conditions that increase your risk for rotator cuff injury include a high body mass, diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

Rotator cuff injuries commonly cause a dull pain in the shoulder that is worse with movements of the arm or worse when sleeping on the affected side. It may also cause weakness and make it difficult to comb your hair or reach behind your back.

An injury to the rotator cuff is the most common cause of shoulder pain. Any of the rotator cuff tendons may be involved however, the most commonly injured is the supraspinatus muscle tendon. Rotator cuff injuries occur in 14% to 18% of the working populations and are as high as 62% in people over the age of 80.


Standard treatment for rotator cuff injury includes:

Icing the acute injury.

Stop or markedly decrease activities that require the use of the shoulder.

Daily stretching in a hot shower is beneficial.

Physical therapy is important to help maintain flexibility and range of motion.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents may provide pain relief.

Lastly surgery to repair the ligamentous tear can be performed. The surgery is usually followed up with at least 6 to 12 weeks of physical therapy.

At Pittsburgh Stem Cell we are a member of the Cell Surgical Network which has over 50 centers worldwide. The stem cell treatments that we offer are part of an investigational study, so we are closely tracking our results to provide information on the outcomes of treatments. The Department of Health and Human Services has appointed an Institutional Review Board (IRB) which monitors these studies for patient safety. Since these studies are investigational, insurance coverage for payment is not an option.

The Cell Surgical Network has published 8 articles on stem cell therapy and expects another publication later in 2019.


There is minimal risk associated with Autologous stem-cell therapy, and there is great potential for increased healing.

Learn more about what is involved in a typical stem-cell therapy appointment.