Mark Lundeen, a Sanford orthopedic surgeon and one of the co-principal investigators in the study.
To evaluate the results of the out-patient procedure, which will be performed in the clinic, physicians will examine high-resolution MRI images as well as evaluate the patient's shoulder condition, including pain, range of motion and strength.
If the stem cell therapy for healing torn rotator cuffs proves successful, it's likely stem cells derived from fat tissue will be used for a wide range of tissue repairs, Lundeen said.
To serve as a control group to enable comparison, some patients in the study will receive injections of cortisone, the standard treatment today for minor rotator cuff tears, instead of the stem cells.
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