Sports Injuries/Muscle Tear (rotator cuff, groin, etc)

Sports injuries are injuries that occur during sport, athletic activities, or exercising. These may include muscle tears, ligament tears, strains, sprains, bone fractures, concussions, etc.


Conventional treatment for sports injuries include pain medications, physical therapy, rest, and in some cases surgical intervention.

Many research dollars are being poured into stem cell treatments to try and improve outcomes for sports injuries. The focus of this research is on repairing and regenerating connective tissues (muscle, tendon, cartilage, ligaments, etc) to alleviate pain and allow for a return to normal mechanical movement.

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The most current research regarding stem cells and sports injuries is given below:

Emerging Applications of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine to Sports Injuries
David A. Ajibade, MD, Danica D. Vance, BS, Joshua M. Hare, MD, Lee D. Kaplan, MD, and Bryson P. Lesniak, MD

Abstract: The treatment of sports-related musculoskeletal injuries with stem cells has become more publicized because of recent reports of high-profile athletes undergoing stem cell procedures. There has been increased interest in defining the parameters of safety and efficacy and the indications for potential use of stem cells in clinical practice.

Regeneration of Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Tendon Tear After Ultrasound-Guided Injection With Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Rabbit Model
Gi-Young Park, Dong Rak Kwon, and Sang Chul Lee

Abstract: Rotator cuff tendon tear is one of the most common causes of chronic shoulder pain and disability. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effects of ultrasound-guided human umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) injection to regenerate a full-thickness subscapularis tendon tear in a rabbit model by evaluating the gross morphology and histology of the injected tendon and motion analysis of the rabbit’s activity. At 4 weeks after ultrasound-guided UCB-derived MSC injection, 7 of the 10 full-thickness subscapularis tendon tears were only partial-thickness tears, and 3 remained full-thickness tendon tears. The tendon tear size and walking capacity at 4 weeks after UCB-derived MSC injection under ultrasound guidance were significantly improved compared with the same parameters immediately after tendon tear. UCB-derived MSC injection under ultrasound guidance without surgical repair or bioscaffold resulted in the partial healing of full-thickness rotator cuff tendon tears in a rabbit model. Histology revealed that UCB-derived MSCs induced regeneration of rotator cuff tendon tear and that the regenerated tissue was predominantly composed of type I collagens. In this study, ultrasound-guided injection of human UCB-derived MSCs contributed to regeneration of the full-thickness rotator cuff tendon tear without surgical repair. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of local injection of MSCs into the rotator cuff tendon.


Stem cells for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain
Luminita Labusca, Florin Zugun-Eloae, and Kaveh Mashayekhi

Abstract: Musculoskeletal-related pain is one of the most disabling health conditions affecting more than one third of the adult population worldwide. Pain from various mechanisms and origins is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated. The complexity of molecular mechanisms correlating pain and the progression of musculoskeletal diseases is not yet fully understood. Molecular biomarkers for objective evaluation and treatment follow-up are needed as a step towards targeted treatment of pain as a symptom or as a disease. Stem cell therapy is already under investigation for the treatment of different types of musculoskeletal-related pain. Mesenchymal stem cell-based therapies are already being tested in various clinical trials that use musculoskeletal system-related pain as the primary or secondary endpoint. Genetically engineered stem cells, as well as induced pluripotent stem cells, offer promising novel perspectives for pain treatment. It is possible that a more focused approach and reassessment of therapeutic goals will contribute to the overall efficacy, as well as to the clinical acceptance of regenerative medicine therapies. This article briefly describes the principal types of musculoskeletal-related pain and reviews the stem cell-based therapies that have been specifically designed for its treatment.