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.
Adhesive capsulitis, also known as ‘frozen shoulder’ is a common condition that affects about 3% of the population. It affects the joint capsule and ‘freezes’ it so range of motion is greatly diminished. Often, frozen shoulders clear up within a year, for those with permanently restricted ROM, there are few treatments out there for them, especially if they suffer from arthritis as well.
Solutions Offered at StemCell ARTS
Those who wish to receive stem cell treatments and are diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis, do not make the best candidates. However, our physicians here at StemCell ARTS use a technique called “joint expansion injections” in an attempt to expand the joint in order for stem cells to proliferate in the joint. Expansion injections are typically performed in a set of three, one injection for three weeks. Patients come into the office where our physician injects the affected joint with 30cc or more of a saline and anesthetic solution under fluoroscopic guidance. The idea of these injections is to break the cycle of inflammation and contraction of the joint. No more than 2 hours afterwards, patients attend a physical therapy session where the therapist works on stretching and expanding the joint. This would typically be fairly uncomfortable, but the anesthetic from the injection helps counter the pain. After the series is complete, patients are often considered better candidates for the stem cell series because most, if not all, of their range of motion has returned.
Check out our website to see if we can help with your shoulders!
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!
Not all injuries occur through strenuous exercise or overuse. Some are caused by car accidents like our next testimonial, Denise Lawson. She experienced pain in her head, neck and shoulder afterwards, which is typical in a high-impact wreck. For some, these symptoms typically fade over time, but for Denise, this eventually lead to degenerative disc disease in her neck. At first the pain was tolerable. As time went on, it became debilitating and she could no longer raise her arm above her head without experiencing searing pain. After exhausting all forms of interventional treatments such as cortisone injections, acupuncture and chiropractor, she finally turned to regenerative treatments.
Diagnosing Treatable Issues
During her consultation, much care and consideration was brought into creating a suitable treatment plan to help with her pain. Our physicians look at the bigger picture and treat our patients as a whole. They saw that her pain in the neck and shoulder were related and those areas were able to be treated at the same time. She started small with our super concentrated Platelet Rich Plasma treatment, which can be customized to the physician’s orders. Our Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can help heal small tears, sprains and strains in tendon and ligaments. After a few injections she was able to go back to the physical activities she once loved and never thought she could do again, such as boat racing on the Potomac River! She was so happy with the progress in her neck and shoulder that she decided to undergo stem cells in her knee once she started to experience pain there as well. Today, she is completely healed and rowing her way to a long, pain-free life!
Read about her story here and schedule your appointment to get you on the road back to what you love!
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!