Dr Marc Darrow has published research on the treatment of shoulder osteoarthritis and rotator cuff tears with bone marrow-derived stem cells. The research appears in the peer-reviewed journal Cogent Medicine. The study can be found here in its entirety: Treatment of shoulder osteoarthritis and rotator cuff tears with bone marrow concentrate and whole bone marrow injections with a June 20, 2019 publication date.
Background: Human bone marrow has shown promise as a minimally invasive approach in treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions due to the presence of stem cells, platelets, and growth factors in solution. This study examines the clinical effect of whole bone marrow (WBM) and bone marrow concentrate (BMC) injections in patients who were diagnosed with rotator cuff tears or shoulder osteoarthritis.
Methods: Forty-seven patients and fifty shoulders with rotator cuff tears or shoulder osteoarthritis underwent one or two BMC or WBM treatments. These patients were grouped based on number of treatments and pathology for analysis. The patients who were injected twice received them approximately 22.33 days apart. Outcomes of resting pain, active pain, upper extremity functionality scale and overall improvement percentage were compared to baseline and between groups.
Results: Patients who received either one and two treatments reported significant improvements in resting pain, active pain, and functionality score when compared to baseline. These groups also experienced a 42.25% and 50.17% overall improvement respectively. The group that received two treatments experienced statistically significant improvements in active pain when compared to the group that received one injection. There were no significant outcome differences between RCT and OA patients.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that patients diagnosed with shoulder osteoarthritis or rotator cuff tears experienced symptomatic improvements in pain and functionality when injected with BMC or WBM. Further randomized control studies are needed to validate these findings.