New procedures help patients, athletes avoid surgery
Article Published by: app.com
IF YOU SUFFER FROM ACHES AND PAINS, THESE PROCEDURES MIGHT SAVE YOU FROM SURGERY
In life, many of us experience bodily wear and tear that can disrupt everyday activities or cause chronic pain. Injuries are especially common among athletes of all ages, whose tough physical regimens can result in tears, pulls, strains and sprains. According to Dr. Daniel Savarino, a physician at Apex Sports and Regenerative Medicine, approximately 90% of these cases don’t require immediate surgery – and with emerging treatments, that percentage climbs even higher. With new choices, patients can see significant decreases in pain for a fraction of the cost and headache of more invasive options.
Until recently, there were three primary prescriptions for injury: Physical therapy, medication and surgery. While these are excellent options for some, all have downsides, including the risk of addiction for certain pain medications. For athletes, a surgery may take them out of the game temporarily or for good. Fortunately, advancements in regenerative medicine are now allowing doctors to heal affected areas instead of simply addressing symptoms.
Regenerative medicine is changing the game for athletes and patients, through rapidly evolving science unavailable even ten years ago
Regenerative medicine rebuilds and replaces damaged areas, and is delivered through a variety of therapies to treat an array of ailments. Locally, Apex Sports and Regenerative Medicine has been on the forefront of a few of the most promising and one of the only clinics in the area to offer regenerative services.
High-dose laser therapy stimulates tissue growth and repair at a cellular level and can significantly decrease inflammation and pain. It’s often used to help treat chronic pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, neck and back pain, foot and heel pain and peripheral neuropathy. In his practice, Dr. Savarino has found success with laser therapy, especially for patients seeking pain management solutions that don’t involve narcotics.
Stem cell treatments are useful for musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions, including osteoarthritis, tennis elbow and tears in cartilage or muscle. After being processed through bone marrow and umbilical cords, a patient’s own stem cells are reinfused at the site of pain to create a new population of cells. A related procedure is platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), which treats soft-tissue injuries through an injection of the patient’s own blood, processed into a potent mix of platelets and white blood cells, a cocktail that mimics the body’s response when healing injuries. PRP has become a mainstay in sports medicine, treating sprains, rotator cuff injuries, shoulder pain and more – it even helps carpal tunnel syndrome.
Physicians are quick to warn that these injections are only as good as the injector, so it’s important to see someone with experience in the procedure. Dr. Savarino echoes this sentiment. “I’ve completed thousands of PRP and stem cell treatments, and haven’t seen two patients who need the exact same thing,” he said. “Experience, education, the right technology – these are all contributing factors to success in regenerative medicine.” With any injection, Savarino’s clinic uses ultrasound technology to guide injections through advanced imaging, enabling a more precise targeting of the trouble area.
New technology allows smaller incisions, less downtime and more precise targeting of problem areas
Beyond regenerative medicine, athletes and patients can now find minimally invasive procedures that can help in diagnosing and treating ongoing problems. A procedure known as Tenex Health TX, available at Apex Sports and Regenerative Medicine, helps provide relief from tendinopathy – a tenderness or pulsing in the elbow, shoulder and knee, particularly during exercise – by removing scar tissue for athletes whose old injuries stiffen and occasionally worsen over time. After creating a small incision, a trained physician inserts a toothpick-sized tip of a tissue removal system into the affected area. The tip emits ultrasonic energy, which breaks down damaged, painful scar tissue without disturbing the surrounding healthy tendon tissue.
Another prime example of minimally invasive procedures is in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, which accounts for more than 230,000 surgeries annually. Apex Sports and Regenerative Medicine is one of the few local clinics to offer an alternative to carpal tunnel surgery using the health SX-one microknife, which is guided by ultrasound technology to enable a much smaller incision site that doesn’t even require stitches. This helps patients heal faster with less trauma.
Perhaps one of the greatest aids to treatment comes in the diagnoses phase. “If you don’t know the root of the problem, the treatment will fall short,” Dr. Savarino said. “With the technology available today, we’re able to pinpoint, with almost pristine precision, the exact location and extent of the problem, so that we can apply the right fix.” His practice utilizes vision scope imaging, a revolutionary technique in the trade, to create a high-definition visualization of inside of the joint. The 10-minute exam uses a tiny camera scope and requires only local anesthesia.
If you’re an athlete or a person bothered by occasional or consistent pain, it’s important to understand your options before going under the knife. The best and only way to determine what’s right for you is to make an appointment with a physician. Apex Sports and Regenerative Medicine can tell you if you’re a candidate for surgery alternatives such as non-invasive or minimally invasive regenerative procedures.
ABOUT IFFIE OKORONKWO, M.D.
Iffie Okoronkwo, M.D. is a Spine and Sports Rehabilitation Medicine and Pain Management physician at Manhattan Spine and Sports Medicine (http://www.manhattanmd.com/), a private practice based in New York City with 40 years of experience providing the finest expert medical care and services to patients around the world.
Dr. Iffie is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and, as a physiatrist, utilizes ultrasound guided injections, fluoroscopy guided injections, PRP, regenerative medicine, and more to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions affecting muscles, joints, ligaments, and nerves.