How Regenerative Medicine Earned a Place at the Sports Doctor’s Table
Posted by Jenn F. on Monday, September 29th, 2014
“Regenerative medicine” is a branch of research that involves molecular biology, tissue engineering, and the process of replacing human cells, tissues, or organs to establish normal function. It has been decades since the first bone marrow and organ transplants, but advances in this science have unlocked new opportunities for more applications than the treatment of chronic diseases. The sports doctors at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in New York City use regenerative medicine to heal our patients’ sports injuries as well.
“Shifting Ideology in the Sports Medicine Field”
“There has been a shifting ideology in the sports medicine field over the years,” explains The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine’s Dr. Josef Geldwert. “While we have always aimed to help patients using the most minimally invasive methods, we have a number of new tools at our disposal. We are pleased to offer our patients the latest technology used by professional athletes to help the most difficult-to-treat injuries heal faster.”
Sports medicine doctors used to believe that tendon injuries were painful and slow to heal due to inflammation. In more recent years, we’ve seen evidence of collagen and cellular degeneration, which also impedes healing. So while reducing inflammation is helpful, it should not be the only goal of treatment. By giving the body the necessary biological prompts to begin healing on its own, we see quicker recoveries that we once never thought possible.
How Sports Doctors Can Fix You Faster
Tendon injuries like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinosis, in particular, have been notoriously hard to heal. The people who suffer these types of injuries have pushed their bodies too hard, without adequate rest and recovery. We often joke that the problem is “not in the body — but in the head.” It can be difficult to slow these patients down long enough to heal the tissues fully, especially since some soft tissue injuries can take up to 18 months to repair. Thankfully, there are several treatment options that speed up this recovery dramatically, including:
– Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment: EPAT uses a unique set of pressure waves to enhance circulation and stimulate cellular metabolism. It’s a quick, easy, noninvasive treatment you can have done on your break from work. We simply move a device in circular motions over the affected area to apply treatment. EPAT does not require anesthesia and patients can often bear weight on an injury immediately, resuming regular activity within days. Over 80% of patients report a significant reduction in pain after just three treatments. There are no risks for most patients and no “down time.”
Note: Patients with a history of deep vein thrombosis may not be good candidates for this treatment.
– Platelet Rich Plasma Injections: Platelet-rich plasma therapy is done in an exam room and takes less than an hour. We draw the patient’s blood and place it in a centrifuge for 15 minutes to separate out the platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected back into the site of the injury, using ultrasound to guide us right to the injured tissue. We recommend that patients reduce their regular activities for six weeks. Some patients observe results with one treatment, while others may require several treatments over the course of three months.
Note: Patients with bone cancer, infections, cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s patients, people with multiple health conditions, and those taking a high dose of Coumadin may not be good candidates for PRP therapy.
Regenerative Medicine in NYC
If you are looking for an active recovery and the opportunity to bounce back from injury quickly, then do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment. Our certified, experienced sports doctors offer patients the latest regenerative medicine techniques in Manhattan and Westchester, New York. We also staff a team of friendly physical therapists and experienced foot and ankle surgeons for people who do not respond to conservative therapies.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.