Sports injuries are an inevitable part of an athlete’s life. Physically active individuals constantly put their bodies at risk in order to perform the activities they so love doing. Nothing is more frustrating than having an injury that hinders your ability to be active.
While some sports injuries definitely require surgery for the athlete to get back to playing at a high level, most sports injuries can be managed by either good rest, physical therapy, and regenerative cell therapy.
Athletes, in particular, want to avoid dangerous chemicals whether in the form of oral pain medications or cortisone injections. And surgery can be a severe set back due to the extensive recovery time away from play.
The effectiveness of the treatment depends on the protocol that is used as not all stem cell treatments are the same and also the manner in which the procedure is applied.
Further stem cells can also play a significant role after surgery as they minimize scar tissue formation and help natural tissue to regrow. Every athlete should look into these options before deciding on the best course of the treatment.
There are many types of sports injuries. Some common ones include:
Steroids injected at your site of injury, along with anti-inflammatory agents, are often prescribed to help moderate pain. While you may get some immediate relief, steroid injections are by no means a cure.
Repeated injections weaken the tissue, and make your joint, tendon or ligament more prone to injury in the future. More importantly, there are a number of risks and adverse side effects that can affect your kidneys and other organ systems.
To help correct any muscle imbalances, range of motion challenges, or other issues that may have contributed to your sports injury, your physician may recommend physical therapy. While physical therapy will certainly offset these challenges, it won’t be enough to heal more severe injuries such as those affecting your ligaments or tendons.
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which a small, fiber-optic viewing instrument (known as an arthroscope) is inserted into your joint. This tiny camera allows the surgeon to see exactly what is going on with your injury inside your body.
Then, they’ll treat the problem (if there’s an opportunity to do so), and the procedure will be concluded. Typically this treatment option results in faster healing time and less scarring than traditional open surgery.
However, arthroscopy doesn’t always provide complete pain relief and can result in prolonged rehabilitation and recovery.
During surgery, your joint is often replaced with an artificial implant, with the objective of reducing your pain. Surgery carries risk and often does not fix the problem. Not to mention, it is frequently a long road to recovery, fraught with painful rehabilitation.
And replacing your joint does not always mean that you’ll be able to play your preferred sport at your prior level of activity.
When exploring treatment options for your sports injury, there are 3 important factors to consider:
What led to the injury in the first place? Unless the contributing factors to the injury are understood and addressed, no treatment can be successful long-term.
It’s of vital importance that the extent of the injury and the resulting damage are clear prior to even looking at treatments. Make sure your doctor uses visual imaging, like an Xray, MRI and/or ultrasound to get a clear picture of how your injury has impacted the anatomical site.
While most of the focus is placed on healing the injured site, it’s critical to not ignore the health of the surrounding muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. It is not uncommon for an athlete to suffer another injury in the same extremity or limb after returning to their sport, a result of forgetting to strengthen other nearby joints and tissues.
Here at PreciseCare, we understand that there are two important objectives for an athlete or active individual recovering from an injury:
Our regenerative sports injury treatment accommodates both of these goals as it allows your body to heal itself during a quick and easy recovery process. By using your own stem cells and blood platelets, injected at the site of injury, your body rebuilds its own tissues.
There has been much documentation demonstrating regenerative treatment’s potential to help patients with sports injuries. To learn more, click on the links below:
1. ACL Injuries and Regenerative Cell Therapy This review aims to focus on the current knowledge on the mechanisms of ACL healing, the nature and potential of ligament derived stem/progenitor cells as well as on the potential and the limitations of using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for treating injured ACL. (Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2014)
2. Biologic Augmentation of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament in the Elbow of a Professional Baseball Pitcher: UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) tears in the elbow are common for overhead athletes. Surgical reconstruction does not allow athletes to regain their previous level of ability and requires a 1-2 year recovery period. This report examined the feasibility of utilizing a dermal allograft, PRP, and MSC construct to augment UCL reconstruction in a professional baseball pitcher, as there is success with a similar treatment for the rotator cuff. No complications were encountered and the patient has demonstrated excellent progress and returned to baseball. (Case Rep Orthop. 2015)
3. Innovative Strategies For Treatment Of Soft Tissue Injuries In Human And Animal Athletes: This is a review of the recent progress in the management of musculoskeletal disorders, as the current common strategies result in inferior tissues after injury. Novel therapeutic approaches such as gene therapy and stem cells are discussed, as we look to enhance the outcome of surgical procedures and speed up the healing period. (Med Sport Sci. 2009)
Don’t let your sports injury get in the way of doing what you love. There are easier, safer and better treatment options that require minimal downtime and allow you to get back to your preferred sport quickly. To learn more, call us at 949-734-9696 or request your initial, one-on-one evaluation with Dr. Goswami.