I have written before about the many ways our body’s natural substances can aid and expedite recovery via injection. Platelet-rich plasma is just one of the revolutionary advances in knee pain management that has earned attention in recent years, for instance, while stem cell therapies continue to gain momentum.

This recent video from the Boston Globe highlights one such approach; dubbed Regenics, it is a proprietary stem cell treatment designed to ease the inflammation and distress of shoulder injury, and promote faster healing:

I am proud to report that my San Diego orthopedic surgery practice remains at the forefront of innovative procedures in pain management and shoulder surgery. If you’d like to learn more about the best options to restore natural mobility and function, please contact the orthopedic shoulder surgery experts today.


The injury tally continues to rise in Sochi, especially on some of the more dangerous, extreme-style downhill events. The grimmest and most terrifying moment of these Olympics came on Saturday, when a freestyle cross skier, Maria Komissarova, broke a vertebra and dislocated her back, leading to an emergency airlift to Germany for multiple orthopedic surgeries.

She is hardly alone. Numerous reports have noted the high numbers for these games, including concussions, knee injuries and plenty of falls:

Norway’s Helene Olafsen had to drop out after she suffered what has been initially reported as a knee injury. Worse still, American Jackie Hernandez will also be withdrawing after taking a fierce blow to the head. During her qualifying run, Hernandez was knocked completely unconscious after a violent impact with the snow. She regained consciousness a few minutes later, and was attempting to speak with the medics who had rushed to her aid. She was taken down the mountain on her own power, but was very unstable on her feet.

As the former Chief of Sports Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, I have spent much of my career tending to athletes and the injuries they incur from pushing the limits. But here in San Diego, orthopedic surgery is just as likely to be indicated for everyday shoulder injuries, knee injuries, and wrist and elbow injuries. The process is the same in either case: careful diagnosis, expert orthopedic surgery when indicated, followed by vigorous and supportive rehabilitation that takes the entire patient’s needs into account.

Such tools are readily available at San Diego Orthopedic Surgery center. Ms. Komissarova is receiving such care in Germany.


Hot on the heels of my last post about knee pain, I’d like to return to the very same space to discuss some ways you can manage shoulder pain, improve mobility, and avoid shoulder surgery altogether.

The key is strength, especially the kind of supple, dynamic strength that arises from stretching rather than brute-force workouts with kettle bells, dumb bells, or bar bells. In a recent New York Times column, people with rotator cuff injuries were offered the same basic advice, including stretching with bands and supporting your body through the full range of motion. And then came this especially useful tip:

Don’t wait to start the program, by the way, until your shoulders ache. “These exercises are excellent for preventing shoulder injuries,” Mr. Ellenbecker said, “in addition to rehabilitating injured shoulders.”

This exercises focus on strengthening the rotator cuff muscles and the muscles of the upper back.  Again, this is the holy grail of shoulder longevity and health.

Whether you’re heading for shoulder surgery or recovering from an orthopedic surgical procedure, basic stretches are the easiest way to keep your body moving comfortably, fluidly and without pain. To learn more, please contact the San Diego shoulder surgery experts here today.


World-famous magician Chriss Angel has joined the ranks of countless athletes, CEOs and active people by announcing he will soon undergo shoulder surgery to repair several torn tendons.

Like so many mortals before him, Angel resisted as long as he could, but eventually the symptoms grew too grave to continue. “The pain is intense,” he recently told the Las Vegas Sun. “It’s there constantly but then goes from bad to worse before easing up.”

This is a familiar trajectory, one which far too many people travel before ultimately succumbing to the wisdom of surgery. When shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears and labral tears occur, they may feel a bit like prior injuries which heal on their own. But make no mistake – these are chronic issues which simply will not get better without expert orthopedic surgery. But the magic man himself has an ambitious game plan:

“[W]e have no other choice but to close it in January. But then in February and March I’ll be able to go back onstage to host a new limited-engagement show with many of the other magicians you’ve seen on the Spike series of ‘Believe.’ I promise, though, to be back in full force with the ‘Believe’ stage show in April and add illusions never done before live.”

And that’s the point. Expert shoulder surgery is an invasive process, but it also comes with an excellent prognosis for full recovery. If you want to learn more about this and other San Diego orthopedic surgery procedures, please contact my offices for a consultation here.

© 2023 Dr. Robert Afra – San Diego Orthopedic Surgery Shoulder – Knee – Elbow