The elbow joint connects the humerus (upper arm bone) to the ulna and radius (forearm bones). The ulna and radius articulate with each other within the elbow joint capsule. The joint is spanned by a number of muscles and tendons which flex and extend the elbow as well as the hand and fingers. Among these are the common extensor and flexor tendons of the forearm which originate at the lateral and medial condyles of the humerus. The radial collateral and ulnar collateral ligaments (RCL and UCL) hold the joint snuggly together and in proper alignment. Let’s take a look at some of the conditions that can be treated with regenerative medicine therapy right here in Ventura County. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you have a different problem with your elbow, then please contact us to review whether PRP or stem cell treatment could benefit you in any way.
Conditions We Treat
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the elbow is a degenerative condition caused by normal wear and tear and tends to increase with age. Traumatic injuries, such as those due to accidents and work or sports injuries can accelerate joint degeneration and lead to premature OA in younger people. It is very common for athletes and those with particularly physically demanding jobs to experience injuries to this area. Besides sudden trauma, overusing the area can also lead to pain and osteoporosis. The pain can be very significant and can lead to a limitation in mobility. Conventional treatments may fail and sometimes patients even consider surgery as their only option. This should be a last resort due to sometimes unsatisfactory but irreversible results, and prolonged post-op pain and rehabilitation time. With stem cell or PRP treatment, however, you can use the cells of your own body to repair the damaged tissue, thereby avoiding the potential risks of more invasive treatment options. PRP and stem cell treatments get to work restoring the damaged cartilage, addressing the actual problem rather than focusing on the symptoms. It gets to work restoring the actual tissue that has been damaged rather than masking the problem.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, or common extensor tendonitis, is a very common source of pain, particularly in people over 30. It is caused by damage in the lateral part of a person’s elbow, where the forearm extensor tendons attach themselves to bone. The condition is usually caused by overuse of the elbow, forearm, and hand and it can be very painful. It is known as “tennis” elbow because tennis players (but also other racquet sport players, fencers, carpenters, sewers, plumbers, weight lifters, and knitters) overuse the muscles attaching to this area and sometimes develop chronic pain that is very resistant to conventional treatments and severely impairs or prevents valued activities of daily living. By opting for PRP and/or stem cell treatment, however, the damaged tissues themselves are repaired using cells found in your own body. This allows the tissue to regenerate, thereby actually solving the problem, rather than focusing solely on the symptoms and treatments that simply mask the problem. Results for tennis elbow are among the most successful and well documented in all of regenerative medicine.
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, or common flexor tendonitis, is another common source of pain, albeit less common than tennis elbow. The medial elbow is where the common flexor tendon, of the muscles that control the fingers and wrists, attaches to bone. Those who swing, grip, or flex their wrists and hands very often (such as golfers) can experience frequent small tears in this tendon, eventually culminating in one large injury. Calcium deposits and scar tissue can then develop in the affected area, making the condition chronic. Golfer’s elbow can generally be identified by stiffness in the medial elbow, as well as tenderness and pain. Some people experience tingling sensations in their fingers and find their wrists and arms become weaker. In some cases, inflammation in the elbow can occur and people can even develop a fever. Finally, the elbow starts to look deformed and it becomes impossible to use it properly. Treatment usually involves rest and rehabilitation, but surgery may be required as well. Unfortunately, this is not always successful and has it’s own risks including prolonged post-op pain and rehabilitation. A viable alternative that you can exploit in Ventura County and surrounding areas is PRP and/or stem cell treatment, which regenerate the affected tissue using your own body’s cells.
Muscles have the ability to contract and relax and are responsible for powering joint movements by attaching to two bones across joints.
Muscle strains and muscle tears are common and are often caused by sudden and/or extreme movements, which can occur during very strenuous activities. They can occur anywhere in the body, can lead to severe pain, swelling, and dysfunction, and can become chronic. Fibromyalgia is a poorly understood and under-diagnosed condition that causes chronic and severe widespread muscle pain and tenderness throughout the whole body as well fatigue, depression, irritable bowels, and insomnia. The cause is not known but it is thought to affect 12 million people in the US and 70% of them go undiagnosed. Symptoms and function levels vary from day to day which causes confusion. Routine everyday tasks can become very difficult and functioning at work, home, and leisure activities become greatly impaired. In addition, this condition has proven very resistant to traditional medical treatments, and patients, family members, and doctors often become quite frustrated with results. Myofascial pain syndrome is another poorly understood condition that is focal in its development of more specific “trigger points” often localized to defined areas of the body such as the neck and back. Despite conventional treatments, this condition typically has a recurrent course and, like fibromyalgia, is highly affected by stress and mood.
PRP and stem cell treatments alone or in various combinations can be a very effective alternative to traditional approaches. Steroid injections can have serious side effects and often weaken the tissues and worsen the condition over time. Opioids and surgery can sometimes lead to catastrophic and irreversible results. Surgery often involves significant post-op pain, long periods of hospital and recovery time that can keep you out of work or other valued activities. PRP and stem cell therapies are done at our office, usually done in less than two hours, and patients can usually return to work or other activities quickly. Athletes in particular find they can return to sport training without pain, more fully, and much quicker than expected with conventional treatments. Contact us now to schedule an evaluation by our doctors to find out if you are a candidate for regenerative medicine therapy.