Pain happens. As we get older, the parts of the body that were resilient (and still growing) in our youth don’t heal quite as well as they used to if we suffer an injury. Similarly, adult athletes who use their bodies differently than the average person may experience pain from straining or overuse of certain tendons and joints. Regenerative medicine uses the power of your own body used in the healing process, to repair cells and relieve pain in areas where healing may be slow or incomplete, including ligaments and tendons.
PRP therapy for ligaments and tendons
An injured tendon can be extremely painful and swollen. Tendonitis may heal with the old recommendation of RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) but if you are sidelined by the pain and want to get back to your game or day to day activities, your body may be able to use a boost to promote healing.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is derived from your own blood cells. Platelets are cell fragments involved in the healing process. Platelets help your blood clot when there is a wound and they contain proteins that are thought to be catalysts for your body’s healing process when there is an injury. PRP is derived from spinning blood very fast to isolate the platelets, then they are concentrated into a serum with a medium like hyaluronic acid. The serum is injected into the body at the exact site of an injury, such as your ligament or tendon. The area of the injection may become sore and swollen for a few days. Then many people have reported a decrease in pain and faster healing.
Stem cell therapy for ligaments and tendons
Stem cells provide an advanced level of therapy for the repair and healing of soft tissues like ligaments and tendons. Stem cell research is truly the cutting edge of medicine today, as scientists discover safe and effective uses of their potential to heal. Adult mesenchymal stem cells are located throughout the body but concentrated in abdominal fat. In a simple procedure using a local anesthetic, tissue is taken from this fat and the stem cells are isolated. Stem cells have the ability to replicate and differentiate into many different types of cells. Injecting them into the area of an injury provides your body with a supercharged boost of regenerative stem cells.
Although there have not been sufficient studies to confirm the exact benefit of stem cell therapies, cases of tendinitis have shown measurable improvement following the application of stem cell therapies. This effect was observed when stem cell therapy was used by itself or in conjunction with other treatment.
Stem cells taken from your own body and platelet-rich plasma are autologous materials, meaning they are not from an outside source. Because of this, these treatments are considered safe from most of the side effects possible from medication or substances obtained from a donor.
Dr. William F. Hefley, Jr. is a skilled and experienced orthopedic surgeon in the Little Rock area. Among the state-of-the-art treatments provided for orthopedic injuries of tendons and ligaments, Dr. Hefley offers regenerative medicine therapies including stem cell therapy and PRP therapy. If you have questions about stem cell therapy or PRP therapy for pain, we can help. For an appointment at our convenient Little Rock or North Little Rock location, call (800) 336-2412.