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Rapid Ischial Bursitis Treatment

Under normal circumstances and with normal techniques, it can take several months to treat ischial bursitis.

However, with the regenerative techniques our clinic uses, it may be possible to eliminate inflammation and regenerate the tissues of your body much more quickly — and even to help in cases where ordinary treatments have already failed.

How Regenerative Medicine Addresses The Root Cause, Not The Symptoms

Normal medical treatments often focus on alleviating the symptoms, rather than addressing the root causes. NSAIDs, for example, seek to reduce inflammation.

Yet it is that inflammation which the body uses as part of its healing process. While these drugs can therefore provide short-term pain relief, rather than promoting healing, they reduce the small degree of healing which naturally takes place.

The goal of regenerative medicine is to actually heal the patient’s ischial bursitis.

It does this by amplifying and enhancing the body’s own healing mechanisms.

Cells and healing factors are taken from elsewhere in the body, concentrated, and injected into the injured area where they go to work repairing the bursitis. (Depending on the type of therapy, these cells might be stem cells, platelet rich plasma — PRP — or others.)

The reason that ischial bursitis treatment is so difficult for conventional medicine has to do with the nature of the injury.

An ischial bursitis happens when inflammation develops between the bony projection known as the ischial tuberosity, and the hamstring tendon which passes over it.

This condition might be triggered by any number of causes, but sports injuries and prolonged sitting on hard surfaces are the most common.

In fact, sports are so well known for producing an ischial bursitis that some practitioners have taken to calling it “runner’s butt” or even just “sports butt.”

When an ischial bursitis develops and the bursa (the fluid filled sac which cushions the hamstring from the bone) becomes inflamed, it can be quite painful. It’s common for patients to experience a pain in the lower buttocks which appears when they sit down.

The patient’s lower leg may also be numb or start tingling, and flexing the knee may aggravate these conditions.

Why Regenerative Treatments Work

ischial bursitis treatment

ischial bursitis treatment

At Regenerative Medicine Specialists, we focus on providing treatments that can be accomplished on an in-office same-day basis.

Unlike surgical therapies, with our methods there is no hospital stay needed.

In general, we usually work with either stem cell or platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapies.

Both of them work on the regenerative principle, which is as simple as it is elegant. Just as how some animals are able to regrow tails if they are cut off, so too can the human body regenerate (smaller) parts of itself with stem cells.

Applying stem cells taken from other parts of the patient’s body — or PRP, which has a similar effect — it is possible to heal the degeneration and injuries producing disability or pain.

Stem cells and PRP alike are currently in your body, but dormant. For treatment, a small volume of them are taken from where they currently are, concentrated, and injected into the injured area.

There, they both help heal and help bring in more healing cells to heal the underlying problem which is causing the inflammation and pain.

Alternatives to Surgery for Knee Joint Pain Relief

knee joint pain relief

knee joint pain

Knee injuries are quite common.

Estimates are that they are responsible for more than 1 million surgeries every year.

About 650,000 of those are arthroscopic meniscal procedures.

Considering that in particular these meniscal procedures can leave the knee in an unstable condition (the re-operation rate for post-meniscectomy procedures may be up to 29%) this is a very high number.

Fortunately, for some patients, regenerative medicine may help provide knee joint pain relief without painful and invasive surgery.

What Causes Knee Pain?

In order to understand why it’s so important to find alternatives to surgery for knee joint pain relief, it’s worth first understanding where the pain comes from in the first place, and the knee’s anatomy.

One of the most frequently injured components is the meniscus, a fibrocartilagionous, crescent-shaped structure which is actually divided into two specific parts: the medial and lateral menisci.

These menisci give the knee its structural integrity, while delivering lubrication and nutrition to the articular cartilage and shock absorption to the structure as a whole when moving around. A number of ligaments also work with the mensci in tandem, in order to prevent overextension.

The menisci can get damaged in two ways: gradual overuse and acute injury. Tears tend to be the most common form of injury. The trouble with the meniscus is it’s poorly vascularized — it has limited blood flow. (Just 10-25% of the meniscus has a direct supply of blood.) If the area is injured, the chances of an internal, natural repair are limited. The other areas cannot heal from injuries at all.

Identifying A Meniscal Tear

Patients who suffer a meniscus tear as a result of trauma or sudden injury experience immediate, sudden pain, often accompanied by a kind of pop. If the tear is the result of overuse and ongoing stress, the pain will tend to be less obtrusive. It simply increases in time.

For both cases, the injury is usually accompanied by some swelling and an overall reduction in mechanical function and mobility. Meniscal tears are often also accompanied by popping, clicking, or locking in the knee joint.

Though many patients decide to seek help as a result of overt symptoms like these, a surprising number of patients have torn menisci yet don’t realize it. One study found that 60% of patients whose knees got an MRI scan showed a meniscal tear, though they didn’t have the symptoms.

As a result, patients who have an MRI for knee pain come back with a mensical tear may have had the tear silently for 20 years or more — yet their doctors may recommend surgery.

Healing The Knee Without Surgery

Ultimately, the problem with surgery is that it cannot change the lack of a blood supply to the meniscus. The surgery does not allow the body to heal itself, so surgeries often result in more pain, instability, and degeneration.

Instead, PRP or stem cell therapy may be able to help with knee pain, and do it without surgery. PRP therapy in particular delivers to the damaged or torn meniscus an ‘extra dose’ of the things it needs: healing factors like platelets, which allow the meniscus to heal itself.

Best of all, this procedure does not require a hospital visit or any physical therapy for recovery. Regenerative techniques can often be done on a same-day, in-office basis.

How We Treat Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Normally, iliolumbar ligament pain is the result of sports injuries that involved repeated bending or twisting the back. For example, golf and volleyball injuries are frequent causes of iliolumbar ligament problems; car accidents are another common one as well.

Iliolumbar ligament pain may sometimes be called iliac crest pain syndrome, iliolumbar syndrome for short. No matter what the cause, it’s always produced by tearing and/or inflammation in the iliolumbar ligament.

The iliolumbar ligament stretches from the back of the pelvis — the iliac crest — up towards the spine. Inflammation here can produce referred pain that seems to be coming from a variety of places: the back, the hip, the groin, the pelvis, or sometimes even the testicular, vaginal, or rectal areas. This referred pain can make it difficult to diagnose.

Signs of Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Recurring, frequent lower back pain attacks are common symptoms of iliolumbar ligament pain. These attacks will tend to show up in a triangularly shaped region which is located between the so-called erector spinae muscles, the facet joints, the quadratus lumborum muscle, the lumbar fascia, and the iliolumbar ligaments. Painful attacks may be produced by almost any kind of physical exercise involving a bending or twisting of the lumbar spine.

In some cases, however, the pain only shows itself once the patient has been sitting down for some time — or even just during a brief period of time in the early morning, such as immediately after waking up and getting out of bed.

Lastly, patients with iliolumbar syndrome sometimes experience hip or groin pains next to the standard pains, possibly including some tenderness of the iliolumbar area as well.

Treating Iliolumbar Syndrome

Iliolumbar ligament pain may be difficult to diagnose, since it often involves pain in a variety of areas. Usually doctors assume it is a muscular strain, leading them to prescribe rest and ice.

Sadly, this approach does not actually help heal the damaged ligament, nor can it repair weak ligaments which produce the referred pain. This means that the chronic pain of iliolumbar ligament problems goes unresolved.

Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

iliolumbar ligament pain

After the more conservative program of treatment has failed, usually doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids — yet these often produce more harm than they do good. Though they provide short term pain relief, in the long term these may be harmful, accelerating cartilage degeneration and inhibiting soft tissue healing.

Patients who don’t respond to even these treatments are usually referred to a surgeon. Yet since surgeons tend to rely on the X-ray as a diagnostic tool and X-rays usually fail to identify iliolumbar issues correctly, the surgeon may not recognize before the surgery that they are dealing with iliolumbar syndrome — and as a result they do not recognize the surgery will be unable to alleviate the iliolumbar ligament pain.

How We Treat Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Instead of using harmful steroids or resorting to surgery, it is our experience that regenerative treatments like stem cells and PRP therapies may relieve ilolumbar syndrome in as little as a single visit to our office, without a hospital stay.

How is this possible? Regenerative therapies allow the body to repair itself quickly and effectively. They involve taking cells which are designed to promote rapid healing from places in the body where these cells are stored and then injecting them into the damaged area.

There, they promote healing and rapid tissue regeneration.

How Stem Cell Therapy Eases Pain & Helps Avoid Surgery

stem cell injections

stem cell therapy

Arlene Abrams of Cleveland, Ohio is a patient who has dealt with shoulder pain for over a decade. Despite undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff in her right shoulder, after a few years she started experiencing significant pain as well as a limited range of motion again. MRI scans of her shoulders showed major tearing, damage, and retraction — the only surgical option from there was total shoulder replacement.

However, Arlene preferred to avoid undergoing another round of surgery to her shoulder if at all possible. Thanks to stem cell therapy, she has so far been able to stay off the operating table.

Instead of going through surgery, Arlene decided to try regenerative medicine, as practiced by Regenerative Medicine Specialists. This cutting-edge type of treatment allows the body to regenerate injured tissues by regenerating them from the patient’s own stem cells. The therapy stimulates previously damaged tissues to the point that they regain their structure and begin to recover. With stem cell therapy, Arlene’s pain went down while her range of motion went up.

Within a few weeks after the procedure — which was performed at the Cleveland Shoulder Institute — Arlene noticed that it no longer stressed her shoulders to hold her “wiggly” 4-month-old granddaughter. “I no longer have pain” when she picks up laundry soap or a gallon of milk, she said. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Regenerative techniques use adult stem cells taken from the patient, sometimes combined with blood platelets, in order to speed up healing and repair in bone, joint, muscle, soft tissue, as well as nerve injuries.

All of us carry around stem cells which act as the body’s “repairmen.” Healthy regenerative stem cells exist in fat, the bone marrow, as well as some forms of connective tissue. Regenerative treatments take these healthy cells from parts of the body that are rich in them, then inject the cells into injured parts of the body which need them.

Because the cells have been taken from the patient’s own tissue, there’s no risk of rejection when they’re injected into the injured area. Often using ultrasonic guidance to ensure precise placement, the doctor injects the extracted cells directly into the injured ligament, tendon, muscle, nerve, joint, or bone. There is no hospital stay required.

Arelene had her stem cell treatments “right there in the doctor’s office,” she said. She first started noticing improvements in both her limited range of motion and chronic pain “about two weeks” following the procedure, and her condition has “continued to significantly improve” since then.

Regenerative medicine may represent a viable alternative for many patients who are looking to avoid surgery or ongoing steroid treatments in ever larger numbers. It can help with many conditions ranging from osteoarthritis to rotator cuff injuries, meniscus tears, tennis elbow, muscle strains, tendonitis and tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, nonunion fractures, compression nerve injuries, and many more.

Regenerative Medicine Specialists are skilled in using stem cell therapy not just on its own but also in combination with other regenerative techniques for maximum effectiveness. Depending on the condition our doctors may recommend a particular type of therapy such as lipoaspirate or stromal vascular fraction, or with the use of platelet rich plasma, cytokine, or growth factor therapy.

Stem Cell Injections May Soon Save Seniors From Losing Their Eyesight

stem cell treatment

stem cell injections

The treatment is still in the research phase, but a recent study indicates that stem cell injections might soon be able to slow or even reverse the effects of age-related eye degeneration in the early stages of the condition.

At the moment the disease is considered untreatable — and it’s one of the major causes of vision loss in people over the age of 65.

More than 15 million US adults are afflicted by age-related macular degeneration right now. The disease starts when the macula, the small central area of the retina, begins to deteriorate. Next to age, both environmental factors and genetic predispositions contribute to this macular degeneration.

The lead author of the research, Shaomei Wang of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute’s Eye Program, has noted that this is the first work to show it’s possible to preserve vision by injecting only a single dose of the cells suffering from age-related macular degeneration.

After the researchers gave the rats a single shot of human adult-derived stem cells, their vision stayed preserved for some 130 days — the equivalent of around 16 human years.

Following the injection, the researchers noted that healthy cells began migrating towards the retina, where they formed a protective layer which held off ongoing degeneration. In order to produce the induced neural progenitor cells, the scientists started by converting adult human cells to induced pluripotent stem cells. From there, they made them into the needed human cell.

According to study contributing author Clive Svendsen, the induced progenitor cells represent a “unique source” of cells which are capable of slowing macular degeneration and associated vision loss.

Of course, researchers still need to gather additional data before clinical studies can begin. Nevertheless research is coming close to allowing doctors to begin offering adult stem cell injections as a customized treatment method for patients with macular degeneration and similar studies.

After this study’s promising results, researchers are starting to test the efficacy and safety of stem cell injections in animal models prior to moving to clinical trials in human patients.

Assuming the pre-clinical trials are successful, clinical trials will be designed later to test the potential benefit of stem cell injections for human age-related macular degeneration.

While stem cell therapy for age related macular degeneration is still a ways off where human patients are concerned, Regenerative Medicine Specialists currently offers the treatment for a variety of other conditions which interfere with valued activities and quality of life.

In our doctors’ experience, the treatments — which need minimal downtime and allow a fast return to work and play — can provide complete relief in just a single injection. Musculoskeletal, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, spine, hip, knee, and foot and ankle conditions are the main areas of focus for Regenerative Medicine Specialists.

Depending on the condition, our doctors may recommend one or more or a combination of stem cell injections, platelet rich plasma therapy, cytokine therapy, or growth factor therapy. All of these therapies focus on using the body’s own cells to produce rapid healing and regeneration — essentially allowing the body to repair itself.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Alex Cobb Undergoes PRP Therapy For Torn Elbow Ligament

The Tampa Bay Rays’ ace pitcher Alex Cobb has a partially torn elbow ligament that threatens to keep him off the field not just for this season but maybe even all of 2016. The team’s first choice? PRP therapy.

Cobb is currently undergoing two weeks of treatment with platelet rich plasma, as well as resting up. After this period, he’s expected to try and resume pitching to see if the PRP therapy has been enough to heal the injury.

If not, he would likely to have to undergo Tommy John surgery, which would sideline him for most of if not the entire 2016 season.

Reports only recently started coming out that Cobb’s rehab was halted by a diagnosis of a partially torn ligament based on an arthrogram, which is a detailed type of MRI exam, when he visited the doctor where he also had the PRP injection, Dr. James Andrews.

President of operations for the Rays, Matt Silverman, has commented only that the team is currently in “wait and see mode” as a result of the tests and would have a formal announcement soon. Silverman said that discussing the possibility of surgery at this point was “premature.”

The team is continuing to evaluate what their next steps might be, according to Silverman. Currently Cobb’s main focus is getting back to the pitching mound, and hopes are he can do it this season, but they do not currently have a timetable.

PRP treatment

PRP Therapy

Cobb has not yet commented to the media about his injury. The player has been on the sidelines since March 17, where he left a Clearwater game with an injury that was then called a strain or forearm tendinitis.

After several weeks of rest and doing no more strenuous activity for a few weeks than playing catch, by April 24 Cobb started throwing balls off a mound and was hoping to return to his team’s rotation by late May.

Operations president Silverman told the press that Cobb was progressing and feeling comfortable — he had even started “adding intensity” to his pitching — yet “something didn’t feel right.”

The team does not believe that Cobb experienced further injury during his rehab. The more detailed MRI arthrogram requires injecting dyes which can produce complications, which may be one reason the team waited.

Instead, the team has said they are continuing to follow the normal protocols for this type of injury, which started as a forearm strain. Since the forearm is so closely linked to the elbow, there are always concerns with forearm strains.

Pitchers who have remained active in spite of partial tears do have some history of success — the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka as well as Hall of Fame member Nolan Ryan, for example. To be sure there isn’t much risk for the Rays and Cobb to waiting a few weeks to see if the PRP therapy and rest helps heal the injury to the point where he can return at some point in June.

If he has to undergo Tommy John surgery, it’s not likely he’d return until past the 2016 season in any case.

What Is Regenerative Medicine?

regenerative medicine specialistsAt Regenerative Medicine Specialists, we focus on treatments that allow patients to recover from a broad variety of conditions quickly: treatments that actually heal the body, rather than merely masking the symptoms produced by an underlying condition. 

In particular, we specialize in stem cell as well as platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment. These treatments often eliminate the need for surgery and produce very rapid healing on an in-office basis, with no hospital stay and sometimes just a single visit required.

We would like to help you avoid the risks and side effects associated with surgery and steroid injections.

Instead, with both of these treatments, the principle is roughly the same: cells taken from your own bone marrow, fat, and blood are harvested, then separated and finally reintroduced to the area which has the problem. There, these cells take an active role in helping your body heal itself.

How Adult Stem Cell Therapy Works

Adult stem cells taken from your own body are a remarkable tool for healing. They can be found and isolated from a number of tissue types: bone marrow, fat, synovial fluid, menstrual blood, umbilical cord blood, even dental pulp. (We focus on bone marrow, fat, and ordinary blood.) The stem cells taken from these tissues are able to differentiate — transform — themselves into many other types of cells, which lets them treat many different kinds of diseases.

Stem cells taken from bone marrow and from various types of blood have seen extensive clinical use for the last 20 years for treating many different diseases. Clinical studies have identified more than 80 different diseases which may be treated with stem cells taken from blood, including cancer, metabolic disorders, and anemia. In our office we successfully use them for treating musculoskeletal conditions and joint conditions of almost any type.

The most amazing things about these stem cells — besides the way they can be used to treat a huge variety of different conditions — is that it’s possible to harvest them using minimally invasive procedures. This makes it possible to do stem cell treatments without going to the hospital or suffering through a long recovery. In most cases, we are able to treat patients in just a single office visit.

For many patients, it’s a surprise to hear that they even have their own stem cells. Unfortunately, many have only heard about controversial ’embryonic’ stem cell therapies, since those have been debated in politics and on the news.

Yet those therapies have very little to do with the treatments we perform. We use stem cells found in adults — taken from the patient, in fact — and there are no political, ethical, or moral issues surrounding the treatments we do.

PRP: An Easy, Effective, and Affordable Therapy

Besides stem cell therapy, we also do therapy with platelet rich plasma injections, or PRP. This is an injected concentrate of platelets isolated from your body’s whole blood — it also contains some stem cells as well.

PRP therapy works on the principle that platelets are circulating blood cell fragments which are crucially important to healing. Once they are activated, they release many different signaling molecules to attract healing cells to an injured area. The result is an environment which promotes healing, better blood flow, and healthy regeneration of tissue with minimal scarring.

PRP is also the least expensive option, since PRP is the easiest concentrate to obtain. Nevertheless it is extremely effective (especially for soft tissue conditions) and may be all you need to recover.

By | 2015-03-24T03:23:50-07:00 March 30th, 2015|Benefits of Regenerative Medicine, General Health|0 Comments

Basic At-Home Treatment for Ischial Bursitis

Ischial tuberosity pain treatmentIschial bursitis is an extremely painful condition which usually arises after sports injuries — in particular those injuries which produce a hamstring strain or tendonitis. It used to be known as “tailor’s bottom” because it can also be caused by sitting too long on a hard surface, and symptoms tend to involve pain in the lower buttocks while sitting and tingling or numbness in the lower leg (especially while flexing the knee).

PRP and/or stem cell treatments are an extremely effective way of treating ischial bursitis. However, traditional conservative therapies are usually indicated before attempting a clinical treatment. Simple therapies like “RIMS” can provide immediate relief and facilitate later therapy with regenerative medicine.

What Is Ischial Bursitis? & Does it Need Treating?

Treatment for Ischial bursitis cannot be avoided, it is a chronic or acute inflammation of the bursa sac, which is a fluid filled sac located between the ischial tuberosity and the hamstring tendon. The exact cause is still not known to medicine, but trauma as well as inflammation from accompanying arthritis or gout may also trigger ischial bursitis.

In cases of acute bursitis, patients may experience inflammation and extreme pain. Their ability to move around may be limited, as moving the joint can produce a sharp increase in pain.

If the patient experiences multiple episodes of an acute bursitis, their condition may develop into a chronic one. At this point the bursa may thicken and readily develop adhesions to the surrounding tissue, which limits the range of motion. Muscles may weaken and atrophy.

Immediate Treatments You Can Do
In order to prevent an acute bursitis from developing into a chronic condition, it’s important to see a doctor and apply treatment as quickly as possible. While the ideal case is of course a consultation at our clinic, within the first 24 to 48 hours of the injury a “RIMS” program is usually recommended to prevent further damage while waiting for more advanced treatment. RIMS stands for:

R — Rest. It’s crucial to rest for the 24-48 hour period after the bursitis appears. Try to rest the affected joint as much as possible. With ischial bursitis, using a cane (at least briefly) may be advisable in order to ensure the area is free of pressure.

I — Ice. Apply ice in order to reduce swelling and inflammation. Ice should be applied 3-4 times a day for the next 24-48 hours.

M — Mobility. Attempt to GENTLY increase movement in the injured joint, if possible, in order to ensure it does not become frozen.

S — Strengthen. If this has been enough to relieve the pain, slowly begin to restore the normal range of motion using exercise.

Unfortunately, in many cases simple treatment like this is not enough to fully deal with an ischial bursitis. On the other hand, PRP or stem cell based treatment can frequently eliminate the inflammation and regenerate the involved tissues quickly, and it is often able to do this even when traditional treatments failed.

 Ischial Bursitis – What do we focus on?schial tuberosity bursitis treatment
The doctors at Regenerative Medicine Specialists focus on Ischial Bursitis treatment that provide relief on a same-day in-office basis, without requiring a hospital stay. For most cases, this means either platelet rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell treatments. These use your body’s own cells to allow the injured or swollen area to regenerate itself quickly and safely.

Hip Pain: Arthritis, Greater Trochanteric Bursitis, and ONFH All Respond To Regenerative Techniques

cost of hip pain treatmentEven minor hip problems can strongly impact quality of life and daily activities by triggering limited mobility and pain. The reason is that the hip is a complex joint, with several structures which all work together to ensure proper functioning: a bony ball and socket joint between the pelvis and thigh bone, a covering of cartilage, a fibrous capsule, and many muscles, ligaments, and tendons which hold the joint together and enable proper movement.

If any of these structures is damaged, limited mobility and pain often follow. Until quite recently the only treatment options were addictive opioids, steroid injections, and surgery such as total hip replacement if patients failed to respond to more conservative treatments.

Thanks to regenerative techniques (stem cell and/or PRP therapy) we can treat many of the most common hip problems without surgery. The cost of hip pain treatment is much less than an involved surgical procedure, and there are many fewer risks as well as none of the prolonged rehabilitation and pain.

Arthritis of the Hip

The most common hip arthritis is osteoarthritis or OA, also known as degenerative (“wear and tear”) arthritis. If you have osteoarthritis of the hip the cartilage in the hip joint has become damaged or lost, the bones have begun grinding against each other.

The result of osteoarthritis is a reactive bony overgrowth which in turn produces limited mobility and significant pain. Activity makes the pain worse, but it’s often present even when resting.

Hip osteoarthritis is very common in patents over 45 and overweight patients. Hip trauma accelerates arthritis, meaning younger patients can develop it prematurely too.

Traditional treatments for hip osteoarthritis involve steroid injections for temporary relief, but usually patients eventually require a total hip replacement. This means significant post operative pain and a long recovery time.

With PRP or stem cell treatment, total hip replacement surgery or steroid injections can often be avoided. Instead, the treatment is done on an outpatient basis — with no hospital stay at all.

Greater Trochanteric Bursitis

Greater trochanteric bursitis sometimes appears with no apparent cause. It is a very painful condition which hurts even when resting and often causes a limp. Greater trochanteric bursitis happens when the fluid filled bursa sac, located between the thigh bone and the tendons above it, becomes inflamed. 

There was no permanent treatment for this condition until recently, only ways to provide temporary relief. PRP and stem cell treatment, though, allow the body to repair itself and provide long-term relief.

ONFH (Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head)

ONFH is generally associated with elderly patients but it can in fact appear at any age: in younger patients the cause is usually trauma or injury, but the cause is unknown in many cases. ONFH is a condition where the femur bone head actually dies due to the blood supply being compromised. 

Patients, until recently, were forced to deal with the pain of this condition until it was possible to get full hip replacement surgery. However, regenerative medicine (PRP or stem cells) make it possible to regenerate the bone tissue and eliminate pain without need for surgery.

By | 2015-03-09T03:52:37-07:00 March 12th, 2015|General Health, Hip Conditions|0 Comments

Will PRP Help Me?

Platelet Rich Plasma injectionsPlatelet rich plasma injections, or PRP, represent an exciting approach to healing injuries and wounds. It’s a form of regenerative medicine that entered the popular consciousness when Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Hines Ward was treated with PRP in 2009 right before the Super Bowl; without it, Ward probably would not have been able to play.

Of course, PRP is not just for sports stars, and the doctors at Regenerative Medicine Specialists have been applying it successfully to patients with ligament strains, tendonitis, muscle strains, arthritis, and more.

What Makes PRP So Useful?

PRP is a powerful, effective, and affordable way to treat a variety of conditions because platelets contain many different growth factors which stimulate tissue growth. (Platelets themselves are a normal type of blood cell which works to help stop bleeding and speed healing in the event of an injury.)

These growth factors help bring in undifferentiated cells (stem cells) to the injury area, and help stimulate their growth. Another component, known as stromal cell derived factor 1 alpha, helps these newly recruited cells adhere to the injured area.

PRP does not stop there, however. When a PRP injection is combined with stem cells harvested from bone marrow or fat, the PRP actively encourages the stem cells to multiply and grow quickly, further driving healing. Platelet rich plasma injections also stimulate collagen growth — collagen being the main component in connective tissues like cartilage and tendons.

In other words, PRP (particularly combined with stem cells) helps accelerate the healing process into “overdrive.”

How PRP Works

A PRP injection needs to be prepared so it includes as many platelets as possible and a high concentration of growth factor. The more growth factors which can be delivered to the area, of course, the more likely it is that healing will take place.

PRP intentionally does the opposite of what more traditional treatments aim to achieve. Treatments with steroid injections and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) primarily aim to reduce the inflammation in the area, which unfortunately impedes the process of healing.

The PRP itself is prepared by drawing blood from the patient and then spinning the blood in a specially designed centrifuge which separates out the platelets. Generally 20ccs of blood from the patient yield just 2-10cc worth of platelet rich plasma.

The platelet rich plasma is then injected into the area with damaged tissue. The injected PRP draws macrophages (the white blood cells) to clean out damaged tissue, and the body forms a protein matrix which gives new tissue a place to attach. Fibroblasts come in to form strong, new collagen fibers for rebuilding any damaged ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. Stem cells come in, too, and differentiate themselves into whatever tissue needs to be healed.

The whole process happens naturally over a period of a few weeks.

Benefits of PRP

PRP has some major advantages compared with traditional therapies. It’s an in-office, outpatient procedure that takes around an hour, with little need for rehabilitation or downtime.

There is no surgery. It simply uses components of your own blood to achieve stronger natural healing. As a therapy it is effective enough that many major sports teams use it as a first-line treatment for their athletes.