Injections & nonsurgical treatments health facts
- HealthFit treats many injuries and conditions such as arthritis and various forms of soft tissue damage with the least invasive methods possible.
- After assessing the extent of the damage and the patient’s symptoms, our sports medicine physician may incorporate injections and certain nonsurgical procedures to promote healing, return to activity and comfort.
- Patients may be familiar with some of these injections, such as cortisone shots for arthritic joints.
- More recent applications like platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections are elements of regenerative medicine that seek to replace or regenerate human cells.
- Other nonsurgical procedures such as needle tenotomy can help break up scar tissue and promote healing.
HealthFit offers a unique, minimally invasive approach to conditions that can cause patients to have reduced mobility, pain and discomfort. Our goal is to diagnose the root cause of pain, help patients avoid surgery whenever possible and limit negative side effects to the body.
Below are several treatment options involving nonsurgical procedures and injections.
Jump to a topic:
- PRP injections.
- Stem cells as regenerative medicine.
- Cortisone shots (steroid injections).
- Hyaluronic acid injections.
- Tendon sheath injections.
- Needle tenotomy (PNT).
- Calcific tendinopathy barbotage.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is made from the patient’s own blood. Blood contains platelets that have a lot of proteins, including human growth factors. These proteins help heal injuries, control inflammation and reduce pain.
PRP is an area of regenerative medicine, in which we take a blood sample and concentrate the platelets in our lab. When PRP is injected into an injured area, it binds the damaged tissue together, releasing growth factors and encouraging the body’s natural healing ability.
PRP injections are often used to treat tendon or ligament conditions. PRP can also be used to treat joint conditions like arthritis. We may use PRP injections to treat the following:
- Osteoarthritis (in the spin, hip, shoulder or knee).
- Ligament injuries.
- Achilles tendinitis.
- Tennis elbow.
- Severe sprains in the ankle, knee and wrist.
- Rotator cuff injuries.
- Partial tears.
Stem cells as regenerative medicine
Stem cells are biological cells that can replicate themselves, secrete anti-inflammatory proteins and turn into different types of cells. When a person is injured, his or her stem cells support tissue as it heals.
There are three main sources of gathering stem cells for regenerative medicine:
- Bone marrow.
- Adipose tissue (fat cells).
Bone marrow is the tissue inside bones. The stem cells found in bone marrow can be used to treat damaged tissue, improve function and help control pain.
Adipose stem cells, also known as adipose-derived stem cells, are adult stem cells that are found in abundance inside the fat stores of the body.
Our sports medicine physician will discuss the options that are best suited to treat each patient’s condition.
Cortisone shots (steroid injections)
Cortisone (corticosteroids) is a category of man-made steroids that mimic the effects of cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone. Cortisone shots reduce joint inflammation and swelling, and in turn increase mobility and ease joint pain. These injections can be used to treat tendinitis, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, gout and several types of inflammatory arthritis.
Hyaluronic acid injections
We treat osteoarthritis of the knee with hyaluronic acid injections, sometimes called hyaluronan injections or viscosupplementation. Hyaluronic acid is an element of joint fluid. Hyaluronic acid injections can also be used to treat hip and ankle injuries. These injections are a new treatment option for ankle and hip injuries and are yet to be covered by insurance.
Viscosupplementation is a medical procedure during which lubricating fluid is injected into a joint. The goal of adding fluid is to facilitate better joint movement and reduce pain. We generally perform this procedure when the patient’s knee osteoarthritis is not responding to other treatments and to avoid corrective surgery.
Tendon sheath injections
Tendon sheath injections are suggested when the protective sheath around a tendon is damaged, resulting in pain or difficult movement. The sheath produces a fluid that helps lubricate the tendon. Inflammation can occur, typically the result of an injury to the tendon or surrounding muscles, causing the sheath to produce less of the synovial fluid.
Our sports medicine physician uses an ultrasound to guide the needle into place. Once in place the physician will inject a mixture of corticosteroids and a local anesthetic around the affected area. Tendon sheath injections can be used to help treat the tendons in most joints in the body.
Needle tenotomy (PNT)
Needle tenotomy, sometimes called percutaneous needle tenotomy (PNT), is a minimally invasive treatment for chronic tendon problems. Our sport medicine physician will use an ultrasound to guide a small needle into the damaged tendon. Small, repeated needling is then used to break up scar tissue, which promotes healing and tendon repair.
Sometimes PRP (see above) will be injected into the site after needle tenotomy has been performed to further accelerate the healing processes.
Calcific tendinopathy barbotage
Calcific tendinitis occurs when calcium deposits build up in a tendon. This injury is typically seen in the muscles around the rotator cuff in the shoulder joint. This condition is more commonly seen in women age 30-60. While calcific tendinitis can resolve on its own, patients with ongoing symptoms should talk to their sport medicine physician about barbotage. This procedure uses an ultrasound guided needle to remove the calcium deposits while the patient is under local anesthetic.
Calcific tendinopathy barbotage sometimes uses water pressure to break up the calcium deposits. Our sports medicine physician may administer a steroid/cortisone shot (see above) following this procedure.
Take the next steps at HealthFit
Our patient care team is dedicated to healing each patient using a personal, hands-on approach to whole-body health. More than simply managing conditions, our physicians and care team are partners in your healthcare, guiding you to optimal health.