Editorial Commentary: Stem Cells in Rotator Cuff Surgery: In Search of the Holy Grail

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


The use of stem cells in orthopaedics remains a controversial topic, stem cells remain experimental, and significant concerns exist. Studies evaluating diagnoses that may spontaneously resolve could be of low value absent a control group. Only same-day harvest of minimally manipulated stem cells is approved for use in the United States, and these minimally manipulated products may contain insufficient cells to affect outcomes. Extensively cultured cells do not qualify for use in the United States outside of an approved Investigational New Drug Application. Moreover, in other arenas, significant, serious adverse events have been reported after the use of manipulated stem cells. Both the US Food and Drug Administration and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons have recognized the potential for abuse regarding this evolving technology. Published results using stems cells to treat rotator cuff disease are inconsistent, and the optimum source and preparation of the stem cells remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-982
Number of pages2
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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