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OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis. The most common effect is inflammation. Inflammation causes pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness.

PRP TherapyPRP Therapy

PRP Therapy. These platelet cells are packed with healing and growth factors designed to help repair your injured area.

ViscosupplementationViscosupplementation

Viscosupplementation is one of the most popular ways to lubricate and cushion worn out joints.

Stem Cell TherapyStem Cell Therapy

Stem Cell Therapy can treat a wide range of Joint and Osteoarthritis Disorders. Don’t live with pain anymore!

An Alarming Trend In Joint Replacement Surgeries

If you are over the age of 50, chances are that you know someone who has had knee or hip replacement surgery.

Just look at these statistics:

According to UpToDate, “Approximately 700,000 knee replacement procedures are performed annually in the US. This number is projected to increase to 3.48 million procedures per year by 2030.”

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), more than 300,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States.

So, what does this mean? With each new year, more and more people are having invasive joint replacement surgeries.

 

An Alarming Trend

 

joint-replacement-surgeriesIt used to be that only older people would need to get these types of surgeries, but now we are seeing people in their forties having them done.

A study presented at the 2014 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) meeting indicated that there was a 188% increase in knee replacements over a 10-year period for people aged 45 to 64.

According to AHRQ, mentioned above, hip surgeries increased 205% over a 10-year period for people 45 to 54.

Why are the patients having full joint replacements getting younger?

Dr. Mark Pagnano, chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, says that the growing number of cases of arthritis is a major factor in the trend. “Higher numbers of active people translate into more arthritis that causes wear and tear.”

Add in the increasing rate of obesity and the stress it puts on the joints, and you can see why the prediction of 3.48 million knee replacements isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

 

Why Should We Be Concerned?

 

So, why is the fact that joint replacement surgeries are being done at younger ages a concern? Because there are inherent risks in having joint replacement surgery:

joint_replacement_surgeries_knee

  • Anesthesia Reactions
  • Infections
  • Blood Clots
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Loosening
  • Loss of Motion
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
  • Allergy to the Artificial Joint
  • Rejection of the Artificial Joint

In addition to all of those risks, many patients don’t realize that the artificial joints that are put in don’t last forever. The lifespan of an artificial joint is typically 10 to 20 years.

So, if a person has a knee or hip joint put in at the age of 45, chances are they will be having a revision surgery done on the same joint by time they are 65.

In revision surgery, your doctor removes some or all of the parts of the original prosthesis and replaces them with new ones.

Although both procedures have the same goal—to relieve pain and improve function—revision surgery is different than primary total knee replacement. It is a longer, more complex procedure that requires extensive planning, and specialized implants and tools to achieve a good result.

The bottom line is this…once you take the joint and replace it with a prosthesis, there is no turning back. You have set yourself on the path of multiple surgeries.

 

There Is Hope

 

Many cases of joint replacement are done because of wear and tear of the cartilage, which leads to “bone on bone” conditions.

Advances in regenerative medicine are showing promise for alternative treatments to surgery. Studies are showing that stem cell injection therapy can actually regenerate cartilage.

The result of one such study, by Dr. Chris Centeno, showed “at 24 weeks post-injection, the patient had statistically significant cartilage and meniscus growth on MRI, as well as increased range of motion and decreased modified VAS pain scores.”

With results like this, many people who would normally get joint replacement surgery may instead opt to get stem cell injections. And, with that promise, let’s hope that scary prediction of reaching 3.48 million knee replacement procedures by 2030 never comes to fruition.

Read more about whether stem cell treatments really are the alternative to joint replacement.

 

Free-Medical-Screening

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

Posted:

What Is Regenerative Therapy?

Debilitating stiffness, throbbing achiness, swelling and redness from inflammation are some of the symptoms acute and chronic musculoskeletal sufferers endure. This includes the joints, bones and muscular system. Recent advancements in alternative regenerative therapy treatments offer new hope for pain sufferers.

Left untreated, these conditions can manifest in the form of arthritis, including osteo and rheumatoid, carpal tunnel syndrome, or knee, back, neck and shoulder pain just to name a few. Aging, genetics, trauma, obesity, repetitive actions on the job or in sports are typically the causes.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), “One in two Americans has a musculoskeletal condition. This adds up to a staggering $213 billion dollars for treatment, rehab and unemployment cost, stated in a report by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI).”

 

What You Should Know About Orthopedic Surgery

 

regenerative-therapyConditions involving the musculoskeletal system can lead to further degeneration and threaten your quality of life. Not being able to participate in the activities you once engaged in could be devastating and depressing. It is understandable that individuals experiencing excruciating pain and limited mobility would seek a physician and perhaps feel the need to schedule an appointment for invasive surgery.

But, not so fast, it would a good idea to determine if there are other options to regenerate your affected area.

In a 2017 online blog post for Reader’s Digest, 50 Secrets Surgeons Won’t Tell You, Dr. Kevin B. Jones shares one of the secrets by saying that some problems you just cannot fix well with surgery like many cases of back pain.

It is important to recognize that most doctors are encouraged to perform surgery; that is their training. Many will not even suggest alternative methods. You can find out more about the reasons here.

Fortunately for people with musculoskeletal disorders, there are Orthopedic Specialists who offer Regenerative Therapy, with proven results to provide relief for their patients.

 

What Is Regenerative Therapy?

 

In the 1990s, Regenerative Therapy gained popularity in medical circles and provided hope for those afflicted with conditions, like musculoskeletal difficulties.

You could characterize Regenerative Therapy as being able to restore damaged body parts, tissues or organs with harvested or engineered cultures from the patient’s own body.

Two groundbreaking treatments involving stem cells and platelet rich plasma have emerged that have changed the landscape of regenerative therapy.

 

Two Groundbreaking Treatments

 

These two procedures are quickly becoming sought-after treatments within the medical field. The idea that an Orthopedic Surgeon can retrieve, isolate and inject components from your own body to repair damaged areas in your system is exciting, even after being in use for a couple of decades.

Adult Stem Cells and Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) have studies backing them, which shows the benefits of these two therapies for various orthopedic problems.

In fact, one clinical trial concluded PRP injections benefited patients with osteoarthritis. The treatment proved to be safe and effective with no known side effects.

More individuals in the world of sports are rejecting the traditional method of receiving invasive surgery when they have injuries. Instead, they are going to progressive physicians using these types of rejuvenating methods.

In fact, sports figures, including Tiger Woods, Garrett Richards, Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Maria Sharapova, have used stem cells and/or platelet-rich plasma with wonderful results.

 

Adult Stem Cells in Regenerative Therapy

 

adult-stem-cells-regenerative-therapyThere is a debate about when stem cells were discovered, but most people in the scientific community agree that it was in the 1960s, when scientists Ernest McCulloch and James Till detected the hematopoietic stem cell in mice.

For an element to have the classification of a stem cell, it must be able to renew itself by dividing into more cells and change into other cell types, including into the structures forming the ligaments, bone, cartilage, muscle, etc.

Currently, some health care practitioners dealing in regenerative therapy use adult stem cells and the numbers are increasing.

The process of using adult stem cells for restoring or repairing injuries in Orthopedic Medicine consists of drawing stem cell containing tissues such as bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat) from the body, this tissue is processed to isolate and concentrate the stem cells.

The stem cells are then taken and injected into the injured area, such as a knee joint which immediately encourages the body to begin the rejuvenation process.

 

Restoration With PRP

 

Platelet-rich Plasma is full of elements like proteins and peptides that promote healing of the damaged tissues.

This process begins with blood being drawn from the patient and placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, plasma and red blood cells.

The outcome is a concentration of platelets, growth factors and plasma, which is introduced back into the patient’s problem area. This starts the repairing of the tissues.

A combination of both therapies can be even more potent in obtaining recovery.

 

Finding the Best Physician for Regenerative Therapy

 

It is essential to select the proper medical practitioner when you want PRP or stem cell therapy. Look for one who has experience doing these procedures and is willing to let you speak to past patients.

Don’t forget to ask them about their physical experience having the injections, recovery time and results.

Often these patients will tell you that they would opt to have a regenerative therapy over traditional surgery any time.

 

stem-cell-treatment-for-joint-pain

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition

Posted:

What Is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?

Platelet rich plasma injections have been shown to improve joint function and relieve pain resulting from a variety of conditions. Platelet rich plasma therapy has been around since 1987 and was first used after open-heart surgery.

 

What is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?

There are many treatment options for this type of therapy, everything from vampire facials and hair restoration to sports injuries and joint disorders. Because of the regenerative properties that platelet rich plasma offers, it is fast becoming a sort after medical procedure, especially when it comes to joint pain. Joint-Pain

A person’s blood contains many components including red and white blood cells and plasma. Platelets are known for their role in blood clotting. They contain growth factors, which are proteins that aid in the healing of injuries. Studies have shown that concentrating these growth factors and injecting them into the affected area can speed up the rate at which the body heals itself.

Platelet rich plasma therapy may be used to treat conditions like:

  • Injured tendons
  • Injured ligaments and muscles
  • Tissue damage from surgery
  • Knee arthritis
  • Rotator cuff injuries

While the therapy is relatively new, it has a strong following. Many famous athletes have used platelet rich plasma therapy to help them recover from injury including basketball player Kobe Bryant and tennis’s Rafael Nadal. Both sports stars used platelet rich plasma to treat knee ailments.

 

How Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Works

The procedure starts out with the patient getting between 40 and 60cc of their blood drawn. That blood is then placed in a machine called a centrifuge, which spins it at a high speed for between 10 and 15 minutes. The result is that the different types of blood cells that make up the blood are separated; the portion with the platelets is then extracted. The concentrated platelets are injected at the site of the injury. The doctor uses ultrasound image guidance to guide the needle to the precise point where the injection will be most helpful.

(Note: If your physician wants to use a manual approach for inserting the needle, the injection may be placed in the wrong spot and be of no benefit to you. Insist on image guidance or seek a 2nd opinion)

The PRP preparation may contain up to 10 times the amount of platelets found in blood.

Platelet rich plasma therapy or PRP as it is commonly called, may be administered as one injection or in a series. It depends on the severity of the injury and how each person’s body responds to the therapy..

 

How Safe is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?

Since the platelet rich plasma preparation comes entirely from your blood, there will be will little risk of your body rejecting it or any other complications. Note that under normal circumstances, the body responds to soft prp is safetissue damage by sending platelets to the injury site to promote healing. PRP is merely a way of enhancing this natural reaction by sending even more platelets. The concentration of platelets results in there being more growth factors at the location of the injury, which enables faster healing.

This therapy does come with a small degree of risk. Whenever a needle pierces the skin, there is always the potential for infection. Inflammation is a common side effect; however, inflammation is a result of the body’s own healing efforts.

 

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Compared to Joint Replacement Surgery

Surgeries to replace joints are major procedures that should be reserved for the most serious and debilitating problems. They will require a hospital stay and a long recovery period, which means that you will have to take time off work. With PRP, there will be no need to stay in a hospital and the procedure can be performed in about two hours in a doctor’s office if you allow for preparation and recovery time. In many cases, patients are able to return to work immediately after having PRP performed.

How much your therapy costs will depend on the number of injections you receive. Expect to pay around $500 for each treatment. Keep in mind that the average cost of knee replacement surgery in the United States is $49,500 and that procedure comes with a lengthy rehabilitation period during which you may be unable to work.

Platelet-Rich-Plasma-Therapy

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.

Posted:

Why Did Kobe Bryant Choose PRP Injections

Over the last few years, platelet rich plasma (PRP) has received a lot of attention, partly because Kobe Bryant and other famous athletes have used it. PRP has been credited with helping Bryant and various aging sports stars recover from conditions like sprained knees and injured tendons in less time than would be possible with other forms of therapy. If you are unfamiliar with PRP, you may have questions like:

  • How does PRP work?kobe bryants knees
  • How is PRP administered?
  • Are PRP injections better than surgery?

What is PRP?

Blood consists mainly of liquid plasma that contains various particles like platelets and white cells. Platelets contain growth factors, which are proteins that are beneficial for the healing of injuries. Among other things, growth factors increase the secretion of collagen and encourage the proliferation of tendon stem cells; they may also improve blood circulation and thus make cartilage firmer and more resistant to injury. PRP therapy involves concentrating platelets and injecting them into the injured area. The PRP preparation will have a considerably higher concentration of platelets (and thus of growth factors) when compared to blood.

Lab tests have shown that concentrated growth factors are able to hasten healing and many professional athletes have testified to the benefits of PRP injections.

The Process of Administering PRP

The process of administering PRP therapy takes roughly 20 minutes from beginning to end and starts with the collection of 30 milliliters of the patient’s blood. A process called centrifuging is used to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood. The doctors will then inject the distilled platelets back into the patient at the point of their injury. The doctor performing the procedure should use image guidance to ensure that the PRP injections are placed in the correct areas where they will benefit the patient most. Should a doctor decide that his/her own judgment is better and wants to perform a manual placement injection, it would be advisable to ask for image guidance or a second opinion. The number of times a patient may need to have PRP therapy performed will vary depending on the severity of their injury. A single shot may suffice for some patients but others may need as many as five shots.

Why Kobe Bryant Chose PRP over Surgery

Kobe Bryant and many other athletes suffer from osteoarthritis of the knees. This is due to the toll that playing sports at a high level takes on their bodies. Early testing of PRP suggest that it is far more effective than other forms of treatment for osteoarthritis while offering a much shorter recovery time when compared to surgical alternatives.Kobe Bryant prp injections

Kobe Bryant has undergone multiple rounds of PRP therapy and has even recommended it to friends like baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

Recovery Time after PRP Injections

Soreness will last for about two to three days after PRP injections and painkillers may be prescribed to help with this. Many patients see a decrease in their pain in as short a time as 16 weeks. Along with the reduced pain, thickening of the cartilage has been observed. Thickening cartilage indicates that the patient’s body is actually healing. In one controlled study, 60 percent of patients who were given PRP saw a reduction in pain.

Are PRP Injections Better than Surgery?

In many cases, it is. While there are many patients for whom surgery may be a better option, there are many others where PRP will provide better and faster results. For example, patients who have excessive scar tissue within a tendon or ligament due to an incompletely healed injury may face reduced joint function. The tendon or ligament may be incompletely healed because there is insufficient blood flowing to the injury site. The growth factors within PRP can help to enhance the body’s own healing process thus making it unnecessary for the patient to have surgery.

Professional athletes have long been the first to try out innovative medical techniques to recover from injuries and to lengthen their careers. PRP appears to provide exactly those benefits if you consider Kobe Bryant’s resurgence after receiving PRP. PRP injections are now becoming popular outside of professional sports as well. People suffering from osteoarthritis in their knees are seeking out minimally invasive alternatives to surgery that involve shorter recovery times.

Kobe-Bryant-PRP-Injections-for-his-knee

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.

What to do About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis of the knee can be a painful and debilitating medical condition. It is a form of arthritis that is usually caused by excess wear and tear of the knee joint. As we age, the cartilage between the two knee bones begins to break down and the bones start to rub against each other. This condition gradually worsens over time, causing inflammation in the knee area, as well as pain, osteoarthritis-of-the-knee-smtenderness, and the loss of mobility. At first your doctor may suggest that you change your physical activities to put less stress on your knee joints, begin a physical therapy treatment plan, and take over-the-counter pain relievers. If over time these basic treatments are no longer effective, other treatment plans can be used. Below is a list of the top treatment options for osteoarthritis in the knee.

Viscosupplementation

Viscosupplementation involves the injection of natural joint fluid (hyaluronic acid) between the two rubbing bones of the knee. The hyaluronic acid acts like a shock absorber that allows your knee to move smoother. While it won’t repair the knee joint, it does help cushion, protect and lubricate the knee. It also helps to prevent further damage of the joint. It may take several injections before you feel the effects of viscosupplementation. However, it will eventually work to reduce your overall pain and discomfort and reduce the inflammation in your knee. Viscosupplementation can provide pain relief anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the patient..

PRP Injections

These platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are designed to help stimulate the healing of bone and soft tissue in the knee joint. When your body has a soft tissue injury, the first thing it does is send platelets to the injured area. Platelets contain growth factors and cytokines that repair tissue naturally. This treatment mimics the body’s natural process. Blood is drawn from patient and spun in a centrifuge at high speed to separate out the platelets. These platelets are then injected into the injured knee joint to start the natural healing process. Patients will typically need three injections and start to see an improvement in 2 to 6 weeks after the first injection. Some patients have reported seeing continued improvements 6 to 9 months after receiving treatment. No anesthesia or hospital stays are necessary and patients usually return to work or job duties after treatments.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is quickly becoming a popular treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. Stem cells reside in adult bone marrow, fat, organs and tissue. The treatment is performed by injecting stem cells into the affected Stem Cell Treatmentknee area. Known as the body’s repair kit, they have the ability to regenerate and heal the knee joint naturally. Treatments usually involve retrieving stem cells from fat tissue or Adipose and injecting them into the knee joint. This is a non-invasive procedure that is completed right in the doctor’s office. Typically, patients are able to go back to work the next day. This translates into a quicker healing process and less time off work.

Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery actually involves the removal of your knee joint and then replacing it with an artificial knee joint. Most orthopedic doctors will recommend this type of surgery because they don’t perform the alternative treatments. Patients typically spend several days in the hospital after surgery and will have to complete several weeks of physical therapy as part of the healing process. On average, patients take several weeks or even months off work after surgery. Risks for this surgery include reaction to anesthesia, potential for infection, blood clots and limited mobility after surgery.

When determining what type of treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee is right for you, several factors must be taken into account. Viscosupplementation, PRP injections, and stem cell therapy can all be competed on an outpatient basis. This means that you will have a faster recovery rate and will need to take less time off work. These treatments are generally less expensive than surgery and may not include the need for physical therapy afterwards. Most importantly, these treatment options do not have all the risk factors that come with surgery.

Osteoarthritis-of-the-knee

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.

Why Knee Replacement Surgery May Not Be Your Best Option

A study conducted by the Commonwealth University of Virginia has found that many people with knee osteoarthritis have knee replacement surgery even when their symptoms are relatively minor or low grade. In other words, the surgery was not necessary.

Knee replacement surgery is a serious procedure that presents potentially life-threatening risks like blood clots and failure of the implant. It should not be your first option for treating knee ailments. Several noninvasive alternatives are effective for easing the pain of knee osteoarthritis or trauma. If you are contemplating knee replacement surgery, you should consider looking into the following:

Prolotherapyknee-replacement-surgery-scar

This form of therapy involves the injection of a sugar solution like dextrose, phenol or glycerininto the knee to help relieve pain and stiffness, strengthen the tendons or ligaments that can hold the body’s structure more effectively. This type of treatment is not new; it has been around for 75 years and has proven effective for many patients. A study by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has found Prolotherapy to be beneficial for patients who suffer from mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis. In the study, patients received injections at intervals of four weeks. It was found that the patients who were given the injections saw improvements in the function of their knees when compared to those who were given saline or who received no injections.

Stem Cell Therapy

With Stem Cell Therapy the patient’s own stem cells are harvested from their own fat tissue,in a different part of their body,and then injected back into the injured joint. The Stem cells enhance the body’s own natural healing process and help regenerate damaged tissue and lower inflammation. The process is a minimally invasive procedure where patients can resume fairly normal activates after leaving the clinic. However, a 48hr recover period is often prescribed. The benefits of stem cell therapy far outweigh the risks associated with stem cell therapy, especially when compared to surgery.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma therapy or PRP as it is commonly known is the process of injecting the patient’s own platelets into their knee. The platelets are obtained by first drawing the patients’ blood, then spinning the blood in a Platelet-Rich-Plasmacentrifuge to separate the platelets from the white blood cells. The Platelet Rich Plasma is then drawn off and injected into the injured area A study by the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York has shown that patients who were injected with PRP saw their pain diminish by as much as 56.2 percent over the first six months of the study. That result went up to 60 percent after a year; the patients’ ability to undertake daily living tasks improved by 46.8 percent at the six-month mark and 55.7 percent at a year.

Medical Ozone Therapy

Ozone is a soluble gas that consists of three oxygen atoms. It is used to treat a variety of ailments affecting joints, muscles and tendons. When it is injected into the joint capsule, ozone treatments can aid with the regeneration of cartilage, which is why it is effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. In many cases, pain is caused by low levels of oxygen, which may result in an accumulation of lactic acid; in these instances, the lactic acid is what causes the pain.
Aside from the risk of complications from medical ozone therapy, knee replacement surgery comes with a long recovery period. With some patients, it may take as long as a year for them to regain full use of the joint. Another fact to consider is that the prostheses may not last for the rest of the patient’s life. They have a lifespan of between 10 and 20 years. If they fail, it will be necessary to have them replaced again. In comparison, the alternatives to knee replacement surgery listed above are relatively safe and minimally invasive.

Knee-Replacement Alternatives

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.

 

PRP Injections for Knee Arthritis

If you suffer from bad knee pain, you’ll know it can seriously hamper your daily routine and your ability to do even the simplest things, such as climb a flight of stairs, or walk across a parking lot. Many people suffer from knee pain brought on by knee arthritis, or other common conditions which can lead to surgery or even knee replacement. However, not everyone knows that pain from knee arthritis can be greatly reduced, or even Guided-PRP-Knee-Injectioncompletely eliminated with the help of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections. This is because up until recently, there was no real way to treat painful knee arthritis without drugs, surgery or physical therapy. If you’ve been considering some of the surgical options available, chances are you could be one of the many to benefit from PRP injections.

What is PRP?

Since 1987, PRP has been used to promote cell regeneration in various types of surgeries. More recently, evidence has been accumulated to show PRP may also be an effective treatment for tendinitis, and since 2000, studies have been under way to assess PRP’s efficiency at treating osteoarthritis, and most research articles have only been published around 2010 or later. Because PRP injections for knee arthritis is such a new theory, research is still under way, however there is encouraging evidence to show PRP is an effective way to treat osteoarthritis.

Is It Hype or Does It Really Work?

There are plenty of studies showing the positive results of PRP for treating knee arthritis and knee pain, but PRP also has its fair share of critics and physicians who claim there has not been enough research done yet to really push this treatment. However, many patients who have had the treatment themselves and have experienced great results are more than happy to express their gratitude, such as 61-year-old Charlotte Marsden, who reported to feel completely pain-free after almost 20 years of suffering.

tiger-woods-prp-injections-for-kneePro golfer Tiger Woods received PRP injections to accelerate the healing process following his knee surgery. Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers also had treatments before their Super Bowl victory in 2009.

Many doctors who treat professional athletes are on the forefront of new medical technologies and treatment options for sports related injuries. Dr. James Andrews, the eminent orthopedic surgeon who has treated and performed surgery on many of today’s elite athletes, indicated in a recent interview on the Dan Patrick show some interesting insights into the future of sports medicine. Dr. Andrews indicted that the arthroscope has been the biggest invention in orthopedic surgery in the last 40 years and they were always wondering what was going to be the next big revelation. For him and many other sports medicine doctors the next big thing is going to be, what he calls the biologics, stem cell therapy, tissue engineering and gene therapy. You can see and hear Dan Patrick’s complete interview with Dr. Andrews here. Start at minute 7:28 if you just want to listen to this particular section.

The Procedure

PRP injections are usually undertaken as an outpatient procedure, and because an experienced physician must first draw the patient’s blood before preparing for injection, a typical procedure can last anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes. The number of procedures required really depends on each individual case, and that is something your doctor should decide in a consultation with you. The typical number of treatments is usually 3 – 5, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Sometimes when your doctor plans a series of injections, these can be planned with a single blood draw, so the remaining PRP treatments can be frozen for future use. However, some argue this lessens the effectiveness of the PRP, and recommend a fresh blood draw with every treatment.

Precision injections

PRP treatments for knee arthritis require an experienced physician and the use of imaging technology (such as an ultrasound) to ensure precision. This is because PRP injections are similar to Viscosupplementation treatments, and need to be injected directly into your joint capsule. There are also certain precautions that must be taken before these injections are carried out, as recommended by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. These include:

  • Avoiding corticosteroid medications for around two to three weeks before treatment
  • Avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including arthritis medication (like Cerebrex), ibuprofen and aspirin up to a week before treatment
  • Avoiding anti-coagulation medication for five days before treatment
  • Drinking plenty of fluids one day ahead of procedure

Procedure explained step-by-step

As an in-office treatment, the procedure is relatively simple and involves the initial blood draw, followed by PRP preparation, and the actual injection. This is the order that your treatment will occur:

  1. Your doctor or physician will first extract 15 to 50ml of blood from your arm. This will go directly into a vial.
  2. A centrifuge machine then processes the blood.
  3. The centrifuged platelet-rich plasma is then prepared by a technician or doctor.
  4. The skin around the affected joint will be cleansed with disinfectant to ensure the area is clean.
  5. For ultrasound procedures, a gel will be applied so the ultrasound probe can be pressed against the skin. This allows the doctor to clearly see the joint on-screen.
  6. Relaxing will make the treatment a lot easier and less painful for you, so your doctor will try to ensure you are feeling relaxed. Some patients may prefer to take anti-anxiety medication before the procedure.
  7. Your doctor will inject a small amount of PRP (around 3 to 6ml) directly into your knee’s joint capsule.
  8. Your doctor will finish up by cleansing the area before applying a bandage.

Aftercare

Following the procedure you will be advised to rest and avoid putting unnecessary strain on the affected knee joint. You may be advised not to take anti-inflammatory pain medication, and your doctor may prescribe you with something suitable. A brace or crutch may be required. A cold compress can be applied for 20 minute intervals. You will probably be asked to refrain from doing most activities for 48hrs following the procedure.

PRP-Injections

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.

5 Things You Should Know Before Considering Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery has become an extremely popular procedure over the last few years, with over 600,000 being performed annually in the United States. Knee replacement surgery is often prescribed as a way to treat the pain and decrease in mobility from degenerative arthritis or trauma. But do you really need a knee replacement? As with any form of surgery, knee replacement does come with its fair share of risks. It is important that you understand what can go wrong before you go ahead with this treatment.

Risks Associated with Knee Replacement Surgery

Below are five facts that you should keep in mind when weighing the pros and cons of knee replacement surgery.Knee_Replacement_surgery

  • 1. Anesthesia can Cause Side Effects and Adverse Reactions

    As with most major surgical procedures, some form of anesthesia will be used so that you will not feel pain during your operation. In most cases, being placed under anesthetic is relatively safe and will cause no problems; however, there remains the potential for side effects and negative reactions. Some of the more common effects and adverse reactions are:Nausea and vomiting
    Dizziness
    Drowsiness
    Inflammation of the windpipe
    Damage to teeth
    Injury to the vocal cords
    Injury to the arteries
    Irregular heartbeatPrior to undergoing knee replacement surgery, it will be important to review the medications you take to ensure that they do not interfere with the anesthetic. This includes both over-the-counter drugs and prescribed ones.

  • 2. Surgery Presents Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism Risks

    Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are medical terms for blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis is the term for blood clots in the legs and pulmonary embolism is a term for blood clots in the lungs. All surgeries increase the risk of blood clots, but orthopedic procedures like knee replacement surgery increase that risk. Usually blood clots will occur within the first two weeks after surgery. Blood clots have the potential to break off and be carried to the heart or lungs where they can bring about potentially fatal conditions. You should find out about the symptoms of a blood clot so that you can seek emergency medical help should one occur. Note that smoking over being overweight can increase your risk.

  • 3. There is the Potential for Infection

    knee replacement infectionBoth diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. If you have one or both of these conditions, your immune system may be weakened and you face a higher risk of infection after knee replacement surgery. In some cases, an infection in the patient’s body at the time of the surgery can cause the replaced knee to become infected months or years after the surgery.

  • 4. Implants Can Fail

    A prosthetic knee can fail in a number of ways including not bending correctly after being implanted, or it can become loose. If the prosthetic knee loosens, it will need to be adjusted. Along with these potential problems, it is important to remember that these implants do not last forever. Prosthetic knees can wear out or break. In some cases, the fault may be with the manufacturer or the design. Usually, these failures will occur within a few weeks of the surgery. When knee replacements fail, they must be corrected via a revision surgery.

  • 5. Osteolysis Can Occur

    In some patients, the plastic (polyethylene) pieces of the implant can generate particles that activate the body’s immune system. The white blood cells may attack the particles and digest them; unfortunately, the white blood cells may also attack and digest bone. This can cause bone damage and the loosening of the implant, which will make revision surgery necessary.

Are There Alternative Treatments?

Yes! There are several knee replacement alternatives available for people who suffer from mild to severe knee pain. Even if your doctor has indicated your only option is a knee replacement, these alternative treatments are worth considering given the problems associated with surgery.

Knee replacement surgery is not a quick fix, nor is it a pain-free one. Recovery can be long, agonizing and may not provide satisfactory results. When considering this procedure, it is important to look carefully at the alternatives. Alternatives exist that do not necessitate the use of anesthetics and which do not involve a long recovery period.

Knee-Pain-Treatments

 

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.

The Case Against Knee Replacement Surgery

The need to replace a knee may arise if you have osteoarthritis, have suffered trauma or have any of several degenerative diseases. In the United States, osteoarthritis is the most common reason to have a knee replacement procedure performed. In some cases, the pain and stiffness in the joint will get progressively worse if the patient does not get their knee replaced. The knee replacement procedure involves replacing the joint with a man-made prostheses.

Risks Associated with Knee Replacement Surgery

As with all surgical procedures, knee replacement does present certain risks. Complications occur after about 40 percent of joint replacement surgeries. The risks you face include:Total-Knee-Replacement

  • Blood clots
    These may form in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). While clots in the legs do not usually present a significant health risk, surgeries like knee replacement do place you at a higher risk of developing them when compared to other procedures. They may occur at any time up to two weeks after the surgery. Blood clots can sometimes break off and travel to the heart or lungs where they can cause serious problems or death.
  • Infection
    Infections arising from knee replacement surgery are relatively rare, but patients with rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes face an increased risk in the weeks after the procedure. It is thought that their weakened immune systems are responsible for the higher infection rates.
  • Wound Complications
    Wounds are sometimes slow to heal. The time it takes for wounds to heal may be drawn out due to the use of blood thinners, which can worsen bleeding complications. A Baker’s cyst is a fluid buildup behind the knee and is another complication that can arise after knee replacement. It may be necessary to drain the cyst with a needle.
  • Nerve Damage
    The nerves that go to the foot can be damaged during the procedure. If this happens, you may have to deal with numbness for up to several months after the surgery.

Is Knee Replacement Surgery Overused?

According to USA Today, the number of knee replacement procedures has increased by over 161 percent over the last two decades. This increase has led some to question whether the procedure is being overused. Roughly 34 percent of the people in a recent study by the Virginia Commonwealth University were found to have had unnecessary knee replacement surgery.

The study used criteria such as the patient’s range of motion and the severity of their arthritis to determine whether the surgeries were necessary. Most of the 34 percent had moderate symptoms and the damage to their joints was not widespread. The study deemed only 44 percent of the procedures performed to have been appropriate and 22 percent were categorized as “inconclusive.”

knee replacement surgeries

Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is a serious procedure. Aside from the risks, there are other reasons that you should look into alternatives; the reasons include the fact that it involves a long recovery period. The length of the recovery period means that you may be unable to work for several weeks after surgery. Full recovery can take as long as a year.

As we have outlined in our case against knee replacement surgery, there are several problems associated with the procedure. However, advances in medical technology have given rise to several non-surgical treatment options that are having very positive results. Some of these alternatives are:

  • Viscosupplementation
    This treatment involves the injection of hyaluronic acid into the knee as a means of improving the joint’s mobility. Hyaluronic acid makes up a part of the synovial fluid found in joints; it acts as a lubricant and shock absorber. The synovial fluid found in the joints of people with osteoarthritis often contains lower levels of hyaluronic acid.
  • Stem Cell Therapy
    This is one of the newer alternatives to total knee replacement. It involves using stem cells from your hip to generate cartilage for your knee.
  • Prolotherapy
    A dextrose solution injected into the ligament or tendon may help the tissue in the knee to repair itself. The solution works by increasing the flood flow to the ligament or tendon.
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
    Injections of components of your own blood into your knee can provide relief from knee pain and stiffness. The injections contain your own growth factors and platelets, which help to promote growth in the knee.

successful-prp-injection-therapy

Knee replacement surgery is a worthwhile option under the right circumstances; however, it is a serious procedure that should not be undertaken without considering the alternatives. Postponing the procedure until the alternatives have been tried is the best option for many patients as the prostheses do not last forever. By waiting, you can increase the chances you will only need to undergo the procedure once.

Knee-Replacement Alternatives

As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.

Top 4 Knee Replacement Alternatives

If you have knee osteoarthritis or are considering knee replacement surgery, you already know how painful your knees can be on a daily basis. You may have to take anti-inflammatory and pain medication just to make it through the day. In addition, you may have tried several cortisone shot injections, only to have the pain return within a few weeks or months. Besides, the problems with cortisone injections can be problematic.

Depending on your level of pain and the condition of your knee, your doctor may suggest knee replacement surgery. Before you make the choice to have invasive surgery, make sure you understand theknee replacement surgery risks and potential problems that are associated with this type of surgery.

Do you know the 5 things you should know before considering knee replacement surgery?

Whether your doctor tells you this or not, there are several great knee replacement alternatives available today. The alternatives are designed for those people who want relief from their knee injury or osteoarthritis, without the need for invasive surgery.

Below is a closer look at just what is involved in knee replacement surgery, and several successful knee replacement alternatives that are proven very effective at treating injuries, arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Knee Replacement Surgery

During knee replacement surgery, the surgeon will remove the portion of the cartilage and bones around the knee that are damaged. These parts are then replaced with artificial parts that are made out of metal or a high-quality plastic material. This invasive surgery will require anesthesia and several days of recovery in the hospital. The surgery is followed up by several weeks or months of intensive physical therapy. This surgery can be quite painful and involves an extensive recovery period.

Naturally, as an invasive surgery, this procedure has all of the same risks, such as infection, blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or nerve damage, associated with other types of surgeries. Infection is a major concern with knee replacement surgery because it could cause the need for an additional surgery to remove the infected parts and replace them with new artificial parts.

There will be wear and tear on the artificial joints that could over time require an additional replacement surgery. The recovery period is usually four to six weeks, but it could take up to one year to get all of the movement back into your knee area.

The Top 4 Knee Replacement Alternatives

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is quickly becoming one of the top knee replacement alternatives. This therapy uses stem cells that are found naturally inside adult bone marrow and fat. They are not be confused with embryonic stem Stem-Cell-Therapy-for-Knee-Replacementscells. These cells have a unique ability to repair damaged tissues, including the tissues in the knee joints. The problem is that many people facing a degenerated disease, such as knee osteoarthritis, have stem cells that are not being released as often as is needed to repair the damaged tissue. Stem cell therapy fixes this problem, by injecting stem cells into the affected area allowing them to naturally make the necessary repairs to the knee joints. The risk of side effects or rejection, especially compared to knee replacement surgery, are minimal.

 

Viscosupplementation

This type of treatment is perfect for those suffering from mild or moderate cases of knee osteoarthritis. It allows patients to avoid the necessity of invasive surgery, yet still offers relief from their knee joint pain. The treatment is conducted by injecting a special lubricant (Hyaluronan Gel) into the area between the rubbing bones in your knee. This lubricant works as a special cushioning to offer relief from arthritis pain. The treatment has worked very well for patients who are not ideal surgery candidates, such as those with diabetes or heart conditions.viscosupplementation-treatment-for-kee-pain

If you have pain when going up stairs or difficulty getting up from a kneeling position, then you are probably a good candidate for viscosupplementation treatments.

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)

PRP has been used for years in the sports industry to help athletes who suffered from various ailments, such as ACL, PCL, MCL, an LCL tears in the knee area. However, it has also become a great knee replacement alternative for certain people. This treatment uses your own blood with high concentrations of growth hormones, enzymes, and other cells used in the healing process.

It is performed by taking a small amount of your blood and removing the important nutrients that are found in your blood, which are known to help the body repair damaged tissue naturally. This concentrated blood is then injected back into your body, which works to heal the damaged area of the knee.

PRP treatments are not like cortisone injections where the pain is masked for a short period time and then fades away. These treatments take time! It usually takes one to five procedures and careful monitoring to determine if additional procedures are necessary.

Medical Ozone Treatment

This treatment is designed to permanently repair the damaged area of the knee and not just provide simple pain relief. It is considered a relatively safe knew replacement alternative that causes only minimal pain and discomfort. It works by using the powerful elements in ozone to help heal the area. This works because circulation in the body directly effects how quickly an injured area of the body will repair itself.

medical-ozone-therapyWithout proper circulation, repairs to the damaged tissues can be virtually impossible. Medical ozone treatments help by reducing the inflammation in your knee area to promote better circulation. In addition, the ozone provides the body with what it needs to heal at a faster, more efficient rate. Typically, only three to five treatments are needed to achieve the right results.

It is important to note these alternatives are not right for all types of knee problems. It is vital that you talk directly with your doctor or seek out a second opinion to determine, which of these alternatives would be right for your specific situation. However, it is equally important to realize that many people across the country are finding these treatments to be a safe and effective alternative to knee replacement surgery.

Alternative for Knee-Replacements