If you are a Washington DC sports fan, you might have seen the injury heard around the DMV. Bryce Harper with the Washington Nationals baseball team slipped on a wet base, went airborne, and landed on his side, clutching his knee in agony. An MRI found that found it was a ‘bone bruise’ and not anything more serious such as a torn ligament or tendon. Symptoms of bone bruises include: stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and possible fluid build-up. Although still touted as fairly serious, he is slated to return before the end of the season. Harper is considered lucky in comparison to many professional athletes who suffer career-ending injuries.
Not all bone bruises are serious and can be treated at home with rest and ice. However, for those that require more complex treatments, we are able to offer minimally invasive procedures to help speed up the healing process. These areas are weakened and more likely to suffer from micro fractures and are more susceptible for degeneration. According to the International Orthopedic Foundation, no athlete with diagnosed bone swelling returned to play after their ACL surgery. Stem cells and platelets would be able to help heal the bone bruise, and strengthen the area to protect it against future injuries. Since there is little down time for these treatments, athletes are able to return to their sport faster.
Check out Dr. Centeno’s blog regarding ACL surgeries with bone bruises, and some of the interesting data they’ve collected on the downside of surgical interventions!
One of the main questions that we get asked, is if our procedures are able to help those who have been recommended by their physician to receive a total joint replacement, and the answer is yes! Many people are afraid of the complications and hardware that accompany surgical procedures, which is understandable. We see many patients who are still experiencing pain after their total joint replacement.
Studies on Post-Surgical Pain
In a peer-reviewed journal published in 2011, researchers surveyed 632 total knee (TKR) and total hip replacement (THR) patients. 44% of total knee and 27% of total hip replacement patients reported experiencing pain (of any severity) months to years after their procedure.; with 15% of TKR and 6% of THR patients experiencing severe to extreme, persistent pain. Major depression, and referred pain in other body parts was found to be common in patients with severe pain. Total joint replacements are not small medical procedures, so while it is common for some patients to feel some pain, more persistent and severe pain can occur in others and affect mood and other body parts.
StemCell ARTS Solution
At StemCell ARTS, we are able to provide patients with minimally invasive alternatives to surgery. We are seeing more patients actively trying to avoid total joint replacements, and we hope that we can help! Our stem cell and platelet procedures contain powerful growth factors to help heal sprains, tears, and slow down the progression of arthritis. Make our appointment with us today, to see if you are a good candidate to avoid surgery!
Regenexx collects patient data to track outcomes! Patients fill out a survey that provides a look in your baseline pain and activities before our stem cell or platelet procedures. They (Regenexx) then follow up with patients every few months, and then years to record your progress.
We currently have about 3,500 patients who have completed a same-day stem cell procedure for knee arthritis. Only 3.57% of these patients reported that they had converted to a knee replacement after the stem cell series. The rate of patients who opt to receive a total knee replacement despite our very specific protocols, is low; which is what our physicians want as an outcome for our stem cell procedures.
How often do knee replacements after stem cell treatment happen? Not often but it does happen, and we believe in transparency. This is a procedure that can produce great results, but like all medical procedures, it can also fail to work.
Collegiate and even high school athletes are intense. They practice and train extensively in hopes of obtaining scholarships or getting signed to a professional league. However, pushing a growing body to its limits has a downfall; they are more prone to injuries. Although their bodies heal faster, they are more likely to keep training on an injury despite their physicians and parents’ protests. This can ultimately exacerbate, the body part and cause more serious harm.
Athletes require non-invasive procedures that will allow them to return to training with little to no downtime. At StemCell ARTS, we are able to offer treatments that get these young athletes back into their sport within a few weeks! Experienced physicians here are able to create customized treatments plans with patients’ intense practice schedules in mind. Our doctors will also provide detailed rehab protocols post-procedure so patients do not overexert themselves. Minor sprains, strains and tears are often able to be treated with Prolotherapy or Platelet Rich Plasma. For those with more extensive injuries, our physicians might recommended our Stem Cell series.
See how our Regenexx procedures were able to help heal a college hurdler, who was given the surgery ultimatum!
Here at StemCell ARTS, we have seen a recent trend with younger and younger patients. These are intense athletes with aspirations of playing in college and hopefully professionally. Injuries and orthopedic surgeries at an age where children are still developing, puts them at a higher risk for the development of juvenile arthritis. Symptoms manifest much like arthritis in adults, where there is characteristic swelling redness and pain in their joints. Each year, more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. Although there is not yet a cure for it, we are able to provide them with non-surgical solutions to their injuries to help avoid surgery and slow the onset of arthritis.
The most common problems we see are ACL injuries. These can occur during running, impact and quick changes in direction, most commonly found in sports such as basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. Often, common strains and sprains are able to be treated with Prolotherapy or Platelet Rich Plasma injections. However, for those with more extensive injuries such as tears, we have stem cells to help them heal and get back into the game and their aspirations sooner!
Watch Dr. Newton explain how even a slight injury can end someone’s career for the season, and how we can help avoid that!
Stem cell and platelet treatments are currently in the spotlight due to their high popularity within the professional sports community. And what’s not to love about them?! Regenerative therapies are minimally invasive, and the recovery and down time is minimal when compared to surgical procedures. These athletes depend on their ability to train hard, and an injury or long recovery is detrimental to their careers. Regenerative procedures give them the option of forgoing more invasive orthopedic procedures (if possible). For example, a standard ACL surgery could have a recovery time of up to six months with the need for rehab, six months of bracing and physical therapy in between. After this surgery, there are also higher chances of early onset arthritis in the knee.
With the procedures offered here at Stem Cell ARTS, we are able to provide athletes with platelet and stem cell injections that will help the body heal itself, with little to no down time! A recovery from our stem cell procedure would require a patient to be non-weight bearing for 48 hours after the stem cells are injected into a weight bearing joint. A brace might be required if deemed necessary by the physician and worn for up to 4 months afterwards. Patients are usually able to go back to the gym for low impact exercises just two weeks post stem cell series. We ask that our patients follow up in six weeks, and typically they are back to their normal physical activities by then!
Who’s Getting Our Procedures?
We are seeing patients of all different ages, backgrounds, and activity levels here in our clinics. More and more young, high school-aged athletes are coming to us after their sports injuries. They are hoping to continue their athletic careers into college and hopefully professionally as well. Years ago, a torn meniscus or ACL would automatically require surgery and, at their young age, there is a higher risk of re-injury. The popularity of CrossFit has (unfortunately) helped us expand our patient base. The intensity of exercise craze has created many common problems such as torn labrums and rotator cuff tendinitis. There has also been an influx of elderly active patients that want to keep their active lifestyles. We have seen patients as young as 90 who have gone back to running marathons after just a few treatments!
The Future of Sports Injuries
It would be an ambitious statement to say that one day, regenerative treatments will replace surgical procedures, but our goal is to help as many people avoid surgery as possible. We are aware that surgery means downtime, and we want to spread the word that there are alternatives out there for you if you want to get back outside in this beautiful weather just in time for spring sports!
Read Dr. Christopher Centeno’s post regarding all the amazing athletes they have treated at our headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado!
An ACL tear, sustained during a high school lacrosse game, threatened to derail Kellyn Kusyk’s career aspirations of continuing her sport, competitively, at Yale University. Kellyn’s mother, Dr. Casey Kerrigan, specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Kerrigan was aware of the risks associated with ACL repair surgeries and wanted to avoid surgical intervention, if possible. She knew that it is difficult to completely repair the ACL back to its original integrity. Another major drawback was the downtime and rehabilitation that would follow surgery. Following Kellyn’s consult with StemCell ARTS, she began her first stem cell series of injections to treat her left knee ACL tear. Both Kellyn and Dr. Casey Kerrigan were so impressed with the successful results of Kellyn’s Stem Cell Therapy, they returned approximately 8 weeks later for a second set of injections to ensure that she was in peak condition as she prepared for her career as a collegiate athlete.
Regenerative treatments, specifically Platelet Rich Plasma, has been quietly gaining popularity among professional athletes as a way to bounce back quickly after minor injuries such as sprains and strains. Most recently, NBA’s Most Valuable Player, Stephen Curry, has been the newest addition to the growing list of patients receiving platelet procedures. Curry had injured his MCL on April 24th, and was diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain. These injuries usually occur as a result of twisting or direct impact and can cause tenderness, stiffness, and mild swelling at the injury site.
These injuries would usually be detrimental to an athlete, and continuing to play with an injury could cause further harm. However, Curry received PRP treatment within two days of his injury and was able to return after missing only two games. His Platelet Rich Plasma treatment involved concentrating a blood sample and isolating growth factors to inject back into the injured site in order to promote healing. The procedure is minimally invasive and athletes are able to return to light or normal activity soon afterwards