Kessler Impact Report 2

The team is expanding studies in wheelchair users with shoulder pain unresponsive to standard treatments. Their approach, a minimally invasive alternative to surgery consists of a single injection of autologous micro-fragmented adipose tissue. “We extract fat from the participant’s abdomen, process the sample, and inject it into the shoulder joint,” explains Dr. Malanga. Among the new equipment donated by the Derner Foundation is a mini arthroscope, called a nanoscope, which can be inserted in the joint to verify the improvements in tendon and cartilage following these treatments. 

To document improvements, participants undergo periodic examinations and imaging studies at the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation. ShopRite/Wakefern Food Corp. recently donated a shoulder coil, a custom device that allows scientists to image the shoulder joint in much greater detail. “Now, we can precisely measure changes in the tendons, helping us identify biomarkers that document response to the injection,” notes Dr. Hogaboom. “This will expand our research and open the way to more funding and more advances in care,” he predicts.

“If our less invasive treatment proves effective, recovery time will be much shorter than with surgery, and we will lower risk for complications.” – Gerard Malanga, MD