In both the shoulder and the hip, there is a structure called the Labrum that since the introduction of the MRI and the arthroscope, has received exponential surgical attention. In the hip, the acetabular labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the hip joint. Its function is to deepen the acetabulum and make it more difficult for the head of the femur to slip out of place. At the shoulder, the Glenoid Labrum is soft fibrous tissue that surrounds the socket to help stabilize the joint. Injuries to either structure may occur from acute trauma, repetitive impingement or as part of the degenerative osteoarthritic process. Symptoms of a tear in either location include pain, may be mechanical in nature (catching, locking, popping, or grinding), a decreased range of motion and loss of strength.

Herein is the diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma; does the orthopedist address the history and physical examination, the results of imaging, all of the above or some of the above? On the one hand, it has been clearly established both at the shoulder and at the hip, labral injury as demonstrated on the MRI or CT arthrogram may not be the source of the pain. If the problem is pain and there are arthritic changes in the joint, the results of arthroscopic surgery are poor. Even when there are mechanical symptoms such as catching, locking, grinding and popping, arthroscopic clean outs do not succeed in the presence of arthritis. When it comes to the shoulder, the arthroscopic attempt at repair of the labrum as part of the rotator cuff injury has only a 50% success rate. Even when done correctly, poor patient selection and complications can be devastating resulting in injury to cartilage, injury to bone, and chronic irritation of the joint lining.

Assume if you will that a 45 to 55 year old or even older patient presents with pain in the shoulder or hip. The MRI is interpreted as compatible with a labral tear. There is an option which may very well eliminate the pain and affect healing of the torn structure, Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate followed by physical therapy. The procedure is done with a needle and not a scalpel; the complication rate in my experience is extremely low and the success rate extremely high. Let me cite an example of a patient who presented at age 67 with bilateral chronic shoulder pain for which he had undergone multiple prior attempts at arthroscopic surgical remedy. Four months after having undergone bilateral Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Stem Cell intervention, he is off his chronic opiate containing pain medication and playing golf while having returned to his unlimited fitness routine. This is only one success story, there are many more. If you want to learn more about the potential options for your painful shoulder or hip, call for a consultation:

847 390 7666

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