Advances in technology have enabled us to see things on MRIs today that we would never have been able to see even 10 years ago.
For cancer patients, that can mean the opportunity to seek treatment earlier with better outcomes. But in the field of orthopedics, in some cases, better imaging might be considered too much of a good thing.
This may be especially true for those for whom an MRI reveals a tear in their hip labrum. The labrum forms a lip around the socket part of the ball-and-socket hip joint and helps stabilize the structure. Similar to the meniscus in the knee, it can tear—often as the result of wear and tear as we age.
Yet it is important to note that labrum tears do not necessarily cause hip pain. Some patients with tears do not report any pain. And although numerous studies have demonstrated this, many patients whose MRIs reveal a tear are told they need surgery.
Even those patients who do report hip pain might be surprised to learn that a labral tear is not the cause of their pain anyway.
Other Causes of Hip Pain
The musculoskeletal system is a complex network of interconnected parts. In the hip region, this includes the sacroiliac (SI) joint, hip girdle muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. When there is instability in the three sacroiliac joints at the back of the hip (where the hip meets the sacrum or tailbone), patients may report hip pain or the sense that their legs are wobbly or loose.
The hip joint requires strong ligaments to help distribute forces from the leg to the spine. If these ligaments are damaged, their strength is compromised. In addition, all of the body’s lower extremities are supplied by nerves that branch off of the spinal column in the lower back. Issues such as a herniated or bulging disc, arthritis, degenerated disc or spinal stenosis could affect those nerves and cause pain from the hips down.
So before you are talked into surgery to repair a torn hip labrum, contact us. If you are experiencing pain, we will do a thorough exam and determine if the source of the pain is the tear itself or other issues. In many cases, we will recommend platelet rich plasma injections from Regenexx®, which use a concentration of your own blood products to jump-start and significantly strengthen the body’s natural healing processes in the injured tissue(s) that may be the actual source of your pain.
Are Your Recovery from Tennis Elbow?
We are in the heart of championship tennis season: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. But you don’t have to be a Serena Williams or Rafael Nadal to suffer from tennis elbow.
Lateral epicondylitis (the medical term for tennis elbow), is caused by overuse. Although playing tennis or other racquet sports can cause this condition, any repetitive motion of the elbow can cause the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow to become inflamed and painful.
The usual course of treatment for tennis elbow is a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the forearm.
When these measures fail to bring relief, the traditional next step has been to use steroid injections to introduce anti-inflammatory medicines directly to the injured area. But these medications cannot heal the tissue itself. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, however.
Because they use the healing agents from your body’s own blood platelets, PRP injections have been shown to provide an effective long-term improvement in patients with tennis elbow. One study found them to be more effective than steroids.
The pain medicine specialists of Stem Cell Arts, an affiliate of National Spine & Pain Centers, are trained and licensed to perform the Regenexx® Family of Stem Cell and Platelet procedures. They provide unparalleled expertise in stem cell and platelet-rich plasma therapy for orthopedic injuries and remain unrivaled in research presentations, publications, and academic achievements.
Call Stem Cell ARTS today to learn more about the healing properties of platelet-rich plasma therapy so you can ace your recovery from tennis elbow.
-80% of adults experience back pain
-most common cause of job-related disability and leading contributor to missed work days
-incidence: men = women
-types: acute (lasts days to a few weeks), subacute (lasting 4-12 weeks), chronic (lasting >12 weeks)
Causes of Low Back Pain:
–age: initial occurrence usually 30-50 years of age
–low level fitness level: weekend warriors or sedentary-during-the-week-but-active-on-weekends folks are at increased risk of low back injury
–weight: increased weight will add stress to the discs and joints
–pregnancy: pelvic changes and weight distribution low and anteriorly stress the lumbar spine
–occupational: heavy lifting, pushing, pulling especially when it involves twisting
–genetics: some folks with have congenital (born with it) predisposition to back pain due to their genetic makeup as in ankylosing spondylosis
How is Low Back Pain Diagnosed?
-physical exam: physician/medical provider
-imaging: MRI, CT, x-rays, bone scans, blood work
How is Low Back Pain Treated?
–Traditional approaches: heat/ice, activity, physiotherapy, medications, chiropractic, traction, acupuncture, biofeedback, nerve blocks and surgery.
–Regenerative therapiesinclude: prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP), platelet lysate and stem cells. These treatment options are great for pinched nerves causing radiation pain to the hips or legs, facet mediated pain, instability, disc pain or SI joint dysfunction.
–Prolotherapy: is a solution of dextrose, normal saline and local anesthetic, used frequently to improve stability of the ligaments of the lumbar spine and sacrum/pelvis by injecting specific ligaments and supporting structures of the lumbar s: the supraspinous, infraspinous, iliolumbar, deep dorsal ligaments of the SI joint. Joints also benefit from prolotherapy. Therefore, facet joints, hip and sacroiliac joints can also improve low back pain.
–Platelet Rich Plasma: we draw the patient’s blood, like a blood donation, and through specialized lab processing, we collect and concentrate the platelets for reinjection into the joints, tendons and ligaments including: the facet joints, sacroiliac (SI) joints, and lose ligaments and tendons.
–Platelet Lysate: we draw the patient’s blood, like a blood donation. In our office, we have an ISO-5 lab where we are able to process the platelets allowing us to keep all the good content (growth factors, anti-inflammatories, chemotactic factors and signally molecules) and discard the rest. We then inject this concentrated growth milieu into the epidural space and peripheral nerves without irritation (sciatica, radiculopathy).
–Stem Cells: autologous (comes from the patient’s own bone marrow) are very potent progenitor cells that can help injured bone, ligament, tendon, cartilage and muscle to heal. Stem cells are typically used in the spine when there is significant or recalcitrant facet joint pain/osteoarthritis (OA) and/or significant disc degeneration.
All regenerative injections are done under guidance, using musculoskeletal ultrasound and/or fluoroscopy (x-ray).
Results vary depending on extent of injury/degeneration. Usually, a patient will get 1-3 series of injections to maximize their healing response. Not every patient is a candidate. We encourage patients to bring their imaging (x-rays, MRIs, CTs, etc.) that’s been done within 2 years, as this will complement the exam. New imaging can be ordered as well. We are proud to offer the most trusted and effective orthopedic stem cell procedures currently available. We welcome the chance to meet with you and to add you to our list of satisfied patients. Contact us today. Contact us today.
At StemCell ARTS, we love to hear patients provide their experience following regenerative procedures with our practice. It is extremely rewarding to hear tales of patients returning to the activities they love. Mark, a patient under the care of Dr. Rodney Dade in the Tysons Corner, VA office, was an avid runner who had been sidelined with knee pain. Mark provides his experience after undergoing the stem cell series of injections to treat his knee condition, bilaterally.
“This has given me a second chance that I didn’t think I’d ever have. I believe I’ve found the ‘Fountain of Youth.’ I’m extremely glad I decided to do it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. There are other options besides surgery.”
Our StemCell ARTS team recently received amazing recognition from Judy, a patient under the care of Dr. Benjamin Newton in the Chevy Chase, MD office. Judy provides her experience after undergoing Platelet Rich Plasma and Platelet Lysate injections to treat her cervical spine.
I was seen in August for my 2nd PRP treatment. I am thrilled to say that I can really see and feel the difference since my last treatment. Initially it was crazy sore and quite miserable but after about 6 weeks I started to really improve. I was able to travel lugging my own suitcase and back pack throughout London, Paris and Scotland on /off trains /metros / etc. I was so surprised at how well my neck and back did throughout the whole time.
No muscle relaxers or Advil needed the entire trip . I wanted to send a big thank you to Dr. Newton as I have been struggling with pain for over 11 years since my accident.
Our StemCell ARTS team recently received amazing recognition from Lee, a patient under the care of Dr. Robert H. Wagner in the Tysons Corner, VA office. Lee explains her experience after undergoing Platelet Rich Plasma injections to treat her spine.
“I have been receiving PRP treatments from Dr. Wagner for managing spondylolisthesis over the years, and they have worked very well for me. Thanks to Dr. Wagner, I have been able to lead a normal life and do the activities I love like horseback riding.”
Our StemCell ARTS team recently received amazing recognition from Maria, a patient under the care of Dr. Robert H. Wagner in the Tysons Corner, VA office. Maria explains her experience after undergoing the Stem Cell series of injections to treat knee arthritis.
“I have started taking walks and even joined a line dancing group thanks to your work. Every now and then I have pain to the point where I slow down and have to take it easy, at least for a day. With both the right and left knees affected by osteoarthritis I can’t really complain about the mobility that I have at this point on both knees. I am thankful that I had the injection done in the right knee and the stem cell on the left, both treatments have helped me up to this point.”
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!