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Torn Rotator Cuff Overview

The rotator cuff consists of a group of four muscles and their tendons located in the shoulder. These muscles and their associated tendons allow you to lift, move, and rotate your arm. The rotator cuff muscles include the supraspinatus muscle, the infraspinatus muscle, the subscapularis muscle, and the teres minor muscle. Together, these muscles and their tendons form a sleeve that encircles the shoulder joint.

A rotator cuff tear is when one or more of the four tendons in your shoulder are damaged. When one or more of these tendons are damaged, it affects your ability to move your shoulder normally. Rotator cuff tears can occur due to age-related wear and tear, a traumatic injury, or a combination of both. For instance, overuse of the shoulder with activities that require repetitive overhead arm movements (like playing tennis) can cause a rotator cuff tear

Symptoms of a Torn Rotator Cuff

The most common symptom of a torn rotator cuff is pain. Pain associated with a torn rotator cuff can range from mild to severe. Such pain may be present when you move your arm or even when resting. Other symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include:

  • Weakness in the shoulder and/or arm 
  • Stiffness in the shoulder and/or elbow 
  • A popping sensation when moving your arm 
  • A feeling of instability or looseness in the shoulder joint

Conventional Treatment Options

If a doctor has diagnosed your condition as a torn rotator cuff, then there are a few conventional treatments that they will likely recommend. However, you should understand the possible drawbacks of such treatment options. For example, any medications, whether over-the-counter or prescribed, are only temporary solutions. They do not address the underlying cause of your problem.

Additionally, any surgical procedure may involve the risk of infection or other complications. Not to mention that surgery can require lengthy recovery times and can be pretty expensive to boot. 

Keeping this in mind, the following are the conventional treatment options for torn rotator cuffs:

Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections are a commonly used treatment for rotator cuff tears. These injections are designed to reduce inflammation in the affected area, which can provide some temporary relief from pain and other symptoms.


NSAIDS are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. They are another common treatment option for rotator cuff tears. NSAIDs reduce inflammation and pain associated with the tear. However, they can cause side effects — and the more often they’re used, the less effective they often become.

Open Repair

Open repair surgery is often recommended for rotator cuff tears that are very large. The procedure involves the surgeon making an incision in your shoulder to access the tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff. The surgeon will then repair or reattach any torn tendons. Open repair surgery typically requires a significant amount of time for recovery, and there is a risk of infection or other complications.

Arthroscopic Repair

Arthroscopic repair is a minimally invasive procedure involving making small incisions in the shoulder and then using tiny tools to access and repair the rotator cuff. This type of procedure is only effective if the tear is relatively small. As with any surgical procedure, arthroscopic repair carries a risk of infection and other complications.

Mini-Open Repair

Mini-open repair is a newer type of surgical procedure that combines the benefits of open repair and arthroscopic repair. Mini-open repair involves making a small incision in the shoulder, but using larger tools to access the rotator cuff than with an arthroscopic procedure. This procedure is typically used for medium or large tears.

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What is Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is an innovative, non-invasive treatment option for many different musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, including torn rotator cuffs. This type of therapy has been gaining traction in the medical community due to its effectiveness and low-risk profile.

PRP uses your own blood plasma, which is rich in platelets and growth factors, to help promote healing. Creating PRP typically involves centrifuging your blood to separate the plasma from other components. This plasma is then injected into the area that needs treatment, which can be a torn rotator cuff or any other soft tissue injury.

PRP for Torn Rotator Cuffs

PRP treatment is particularly effective for torn rotator cuffs due to its ability to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Additionally, research shows that PRP injections are more effective at improving range of motion than conservative treatments as a result of their ability to reduce pain and inflammation.

The injection process for PRP is relatively simple and involves injecting the solution directly into the torn rotator cuff. The growth factors in the PRP solution stimulate the natural healing process of your body by increasing blood flow to the area, thereby helping to promote tissue regeneration and reduce inflammation. As a result, pain is reduced, range of motion is improved, and strength in the shoulder joint is increased.

Because the PRP solution is made using your own blood and doesn’t involve the addition of any foreign substances, there is minimal risk of adverse reactions or serious complications. Furthermore, the injection process is usually done in a doctor’s office and requires no hospitalization.


Why are Orthagenex PRP Injections Superior?

Unlike most PRP solutions produced in a bedside centrifuge, our PRP solutions are produced in a lab. Additionally, we use state-of-the-art technology to ensure that our PRP treatment is as effective as possible. The following are a few examples of how our use of advanced technology sets our PRP treatment apart:

Image-Guidance to Place PRP Solutions

At Orthagenex, we use a combination of MSK ultrasound and fluoroscopy to ensure that our PRP solutions are precisely placed where they need to be. Traditional providers will use blind injections, meaning that a certain amount of guesswork is involved, and the solution may not be placed correctly.

MSK ultrasound and fluoroscopy, on the other hand, allow us to see exactly where we are injecting. This is because ultrasound will enable us to create a real-time 3D picture of the joint, and fluoroscopy adds to this by providing an X-ray video. Together, these technologies allow us to ensure that our injections are precisely placed to maximize their effectiveness.

Lab-Processed for Higher Concentrations of Platelets

Because we use an advanced lab platform, we can create PRP solutions with higher concentrations of platelets than those produced in a bedside centrifuge. In fact, our PRP solutions contain 20 to 40 times as many platelets as those produced in a centrifuge, ensuring that our treatments are more effective.

Our lab protocol gives us more control over the concentration of platelets in our solutions. This means that we can customize each patient’s PRP treatment according to their individual needs, leading to more effective and longer-lasting results. For example, because we process our PRP treatments in a lab, we can offer the following:

Amber PRP vs. Red PRP

Typical PRP treatments consist of red PRP solutions, which contain both red and white blood cells. However, lab tests have indicated that red and white blood cells could inhibit stem cell growth, leading to reduced healing capacity.

At Orthagenex, we offer Amber PRP, which is a type of PRP solution that has been processed in a lab to remove most of the red and white blood cells. This process results in higher concentrations of platelets and stem cell-promoting growth factors, leading to improved healing outcomes.

Next-Generation Platelet Lysate

Traditional PRP solutions are released in a time-dependent manner, meaning that the platelets are released slowly over time (generally over a week).

At Orthagenex, we take our PRP treatments to the next level by offering a type of PRP solution known as Next-Generation Platelet Lysate (PL). This is a form of platelet lysate that has been processed in a lab using advanced techniques. PL solutions are released immediately upon injection, resulting in faster and more effective healing outcomes.

PRP Customized To Every Patient’s Need

We realize that each patient is different and has unique needs. That’s why we take the time to create a customized treatment plan for every patient. This includes determining the precise concentration of platelets needed to maximize healing outcomes and choosing the right type of PRP solution. The following are a few examples of how we can customize our PRP treatment based on the patient we are treating:

Bone Marrow Concentrate Can Be Used

Depending on the patient’s needs, we can also use bone marrow concentrate (BMC) as part of our PRP treatment. Bone marrow contains a variety of stem cells that are essential for healing and tissue regeneration. By combining bone marrow with PRP, we can create a more powerful solution capable of stimulating faster healing responses. We can help determine whether regular PRP treatment or a combination of PRP and BMC is best for your unique situation.

Doctors Specializing in Interventional Orthopedics

At Orthagenex, our doctors are Board-Certified and Fellowship trained in Interventional Orthopedics. This means that they specialize in using non-invasive procedures to treat orthopedic conditions such as torn rotator cuffs without the need for surgery.

You can be confident that you are receiving treatment from highly skilled professionals with expertise in interventional orthopedics. This is because interventional orthopedics is a specialized branch of medicine that requires extensive training and education to practice. In fact, only 1% of US physicians are fellowship trained in interventional orthopedic medicine, meaning you can be confident knowing that highly skilled doctors are performing your treatment.

Core competencies

Our team of doctors has developed specialized core competencies in the use of image guidance to place injectates and SANS (stability, articulation, neuromuscular, and symmetry) evaluations to identify the source of musculoskeletal pain. This enables us to provide a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan tailored to each patient’s needs.


Orthagenex – Your Alternative to Torn Rotator Cuff Surgery

Here at Orthagenex, we offer advanced PRP treatments as an effective alternative to surgery for treating torn rotator cuffs. Our treatments are designed to stimulate healing and tissue regeneration, leading to improved mobility and a reduction in pain and discomfort. 

We are committed to providing personalized care for every patient, ensuring they receive a customized treatment plan tailored to their needs and goals.

If you’re looking for an effective alternative to surgery for your torn rotator cuff, contact us today and learn how Orthagenex can help you.

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Powder Springs, GA | New Lenox, IL

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