Specialties - Additional Treatments
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to diagnose and sometimes treat joint injuries and disease through small incisions in the skin. It is often performed to confirm a diagnosis made after a physical examination and other imaging tests such as MRI, CT or X-rays. During an arthroscopic procedure, a thin fiberoptic light, magnifying lens and tiny television camera are inserted into the problem area, allowing the doctor to examine the joint in great detail.
For some patients it is then possible to treat the problem using this approach or with a combination of arthroscopic and "open" surgery. Sports injuries are often repairable with arthroscopy. Tendon tears in the knee are frequently repaired in this way. Other potentially treatable injuries include torn cartilage or ligaments, inflamed joint lining, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and loose bone or cartilage.
Because it is minimally invasive, arthroscopy offers many benefits to the patient over traditional surgery:
- No cutting of muscles or tendons
- Less bleeding during surgery
- Less scarring
- Smaller incisions
- Faster recovery and return to regular activities
- Faster and more comfortable rehabilitation
Arthroscopy is not appropriate for every patient. Your doctor will discuss the diagnostic and treatment options that are best for you.
Sports medicine is a subspecialty of orthopedics that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries suffered during athletic activity. The goal of treatment is to heal and rehabilitate the injury so patients can return to their favorite activities quickly, whether it's Little League, recreational play or a high school, college or professional sport.
As with a sports team, there are many physicians who work together to help the patient regain maximum use of the injured limb or joint. "Players" on the team are typically the physician, orthopedic surgeon, rehabilitation specialist, athletic trainer and physical therapist and the patient him/herself.
Common injuries treated include:
- ACL Tears
- Compartment Syndrome
- Heat Exhaustion
- Muscle Contusions (Bruise)
- Muscle Cramps
- Shin Splints
- Sprains & Strains
- Stress Fractures
- Torn Tendons & Ligaments
To learn more, visit the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine online at www.sportsmed.org
Platelet Rich Plasma Injections
What is PRP?
PRP is "platelet-rich plasma," also known as autologous blood concentrate (APC). Platelets are a specialized type of blood cell that are involved in injury healing. With PRP, a concentrated platelet solution is injected into the injured are to stimulate healing.
Why Does PRP Work?
Human platelets are naturally extremely rich in connective tissue growth factors. Injecting these growth factors into damaged ligaments and tendons stimulates a natural repair process. But in order to benefit from these natural healing proteins, the platelets must first be concentrated. In other words, PRP recreates and stimulates the body's natural healing process.
What Conditions Benefit From PRP?
PRP treatment works best for chronic ligament and tendon sprains/strains that have failed other conservative treatment, including:
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Shoulder pain and instability
- Tennis & golfer's elbow
- Hamstring and hip strains
- Knee sprains and instability
- Patellofemoral syndrome and patellar tendinosis
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendinosis & plantar fasciitis
How is PRP Done?
In the office, blood is drawn from the patient and placed in a special centrifuge, where the blood is spun down. The platelets are separated from the red blood cells and are concentrated. the red blood cells are discarded, and the resulting platelet concentrate is used for treatment. While the blood is spinning in the centrifuge, the painful area is injected with lidocaine to numb it. The entire treatment, from blood draw, to solution preparation, to injection, takes 30-40 minutes.
How Often are Injections Given?
After the initial treatment, a follow up visit is scheduled 6-8 weeks later. Some patients respond very well to just one treatment. However, typically 1-3 treatments are necessary.
Is PRP Covered by Insurance?
Except for Medicare, PRP injections are covered by most insurance plans, though some require pre-authorization.
Do PRP Injections Hurt?
Because the injured area is first anesthetized with lidocaine, the actual injections are slightly uncomfortable. Once the lidocaine wears off in a few hours, there is usually mild-to-moderate pain for the next few days. For the first week after the injections it is critical to avoid anti-inflammatory medications, including Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Celebrex. These will interfere with the healing process. Tylenol is OK. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication also.
Are There Risks With PRP?
Anytime a needle is placed anywhere in the body, even getting blood drawn, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. However, these are very rare, Other complications, though rare, can occur depending on the area being treated, and will be discussed by your doctor before starting treatment.
What is the Success Rate?
Studies suggest an improvement of 80-85%. Some patients experience complete relief of their pain. The results are generally permanent!
To get maximum benefit from the treatment, and to help prevent re-injury, a specially-designed home-based rehabilitation and exercise program is incorporated into your treatment. This helps the newly developing connective tissue mature into healthy and strong tendon or ligament fibers.
Contact Us for more information about PRP.
Therapeutic Joint Injections
Therapeutic joint injections are a minimally invasive treatment option used to relieve pain caused by inflammatory joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and gout. Corticosteroids, used to reduce inflammation and minimize pain as a result, are injected into the affected joint. This medication only affects the targeted area and does not usually side effects in most patients. Joint injections are administered under local anesthesia and only cause mild, brief discomfort for patients.
Joint injections can be used to relieve pain in the:
Most patients can benefit from these injections and are good candidates for treatment, unless they have an infection in the joint or allergy to one or more of the medications to be used.