Shoulder pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint in the general population. Bone marrow concentrate (BMC) injections offer promising potential as a minimally invasive approach for treatment of shoulder pain in degenerative disease. In this study, we investigated the clinical outcomes of the BMC injections for treatment of shoulder pain and disability due to osteoarthritis (OA) and rotator cuff tears in a treatment registry population.
A total of 115 shoulders in 102 patients were treated with autologous BMC injections for symptomatic OA at the glenohumeral joint and/or rotator cuff tears. Data were collected for factors potentially influencing outcome, including age, sex, body mass index, and the type of condition treated (ie, OA or rotator cuff tear). Clinical outcomes were assessed serially over time using the disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand score (DASH), the numeric pain scale (NPS), and a subjective improvement rating scale. Baseline scores were compared to the most recent outcome scores at the time of the analysis and adjusted for demographic differences. We reported comparisons of pre- and post-treatment scores, the differences between osteoarthritis and rotator cuff groups, and the predictive effects on the clinical outcomes.
At the most current follow-up assessment after treatment, the average DASH score decreased (improved) from 36.1 to 17.1 (P<0.001) and the average numeric pain scale value decreased (improved) from 4.3 to 2.4 (P<0.001). These changes were associated with an average subjective improvement of 48.8%. No differences were observed between outcomes among the shoulders treated for OA versus rotator cuff tears, nor did age, sex, or body mass index influence pain or functional outcomes. There were no significant treatment-related adverse events reported.
We observed preliminarily encouraging results following BMC injections for shoulder OA and rotator cuff tears. These results serve as basis for the design of an adequately powered randomized controlled trial.