How to treat Chronic Injuries- Regenerative Medicine approach
We all have chronic injuries. Even after recovering from an acute injury the involved area is more prone to long term degeneration, instability, and pain. In this video I discuss a healthier approach to managing chronic injuries that includes a regenerative medicine perspective. Key concepts include treating stability and inflammation. I also discuss a patient with chronic knee issues who with regenerative medicine has been able to continue his career as a active duty military professional.
Hello this is Siddharth Tambar, from Chicago Arthritis and Regenerative Medicine. It’s October 14th, 2020. Welcome to our weekly live broadcast. So today I want to talk about how to address chronic injuries in a regenerative medicine style. So I’m a big football fan and it’s football season right now and there’s injuries happening left and right as the sport is expected to do. And when you see injuries you start to realize that there’s the acute nature of injuries in terms of what needs to be handled at that moment. But then, these people have chronic issues as well. And how should they be thinking about their issues and how can we better actually treat them. And reality is that for most of us, a lot of our musculoskeletal issues chronically will be from some mild chronic soft tissue injuries when we were younger at some stage of life. And so having an understanding of how to think about chronic injuries and chronic issues is key because it’ll make a big difference in terms of how you actually get a better outcome longterm. So number one, goals from treatment have to be pain relief, functional improvement, and keeping you active and exercising. And I think that’s across the board what goals should be for musculoskeletal issues but definitely for chronic injuries. And it’s important to understand that address this earlier rather than later, if you have chronic instability in an area that’s been previously injured, it’s going to make you more prone to osteoarthritis, tendonitis, longterm as well. And so you’re better off trying to address that at an earlier stage before it gets more advanced. You can still treat something when it’s become more chronic or more advanced but understand that it’s always better to treat it earlier. So if you, there’s a couple of key things that I would recommend. Number one, is stabilizing an area. So if you have an injury that is still relatively early acute or subacute, obviously the ways that you’re going to treat that are going to begin with bracing, physical therapy, if it’s severely traumatic or severely problematic or unstable then even surgery at that time. Obviously the classic example right now is Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys who had a really severe ankle fracture injury or dislocation and obviously they’re going to treat that acutely in the proper way, surgically and bracing and resting and all that, longterm though because he’s got now chronic instability that will develop in that area because of injury to the soft tissue ligaments and all that, that he should be thinking about longterm, meaning five, 10 years down the line how does he prevent that from getting worse. That may not be on his mind right now, but it should be some point. I recommend that people should be thinking about regenerative medicine at an earlier stage of their recovery from a early injury, because there’s a lot of benefit to that. Whether that is taking injury that is not a surgical case and treating it at that stage or taking an injury that is actually a surgical case and when it’s actually been settled down to then actually apply either your own platelets or bone marrow drive stem cells makes a lot of sense at that stage as well. Chronically stability is really important because that what’s driving that chronic arthritic or chronic tendinopathy. And again, maybe some kind of bracing intermittently while you’re physically active can be helpful. I think it’s super important to do the corrective exercises either physical therapy or on your own longterm as well, because you need that kind of stability and strength around that area that’s been injured. In addition I think regenerative medicine utilizing your own platelets or bone marrow stem cells makes so much sense in a chronic injury because that’s what going to actually prevent that from getting worse. I think as much as possible if you have a chronic injury and instability, you want to try to avoid surgery. The issues with surgery are that most of the typical minimally invasive surgeries are about cutting out tissue that’ll actually leave that area more unstable longterm and actually potentially accelerate that degenerative process. And then the other component to that is, regenerative medicine is really made for those kind of cases in terms of helping to improve stability, helping to improve inflammation that’s where it really shines. So number two, kind of key concept is inflammation. So certainly if an area is inflamed, either acutely or chronically, rest, activity modification makes a lot of sense temporarily. I would strongly recommend avoiding using anti-inflammatory medications in large part because while they may be helpful short term, they just have too many side effects longterm. In addition, when you look at some of the supplements like curcumin, turmeric as well omega-3 we know that those kinds of issues can actually help in terms of inflammation and can actually help with wear and tear arthritis as well. And so strongly recommend that as well. You can use ice in a limited fashion. If you’re relying on it too often, I think you really need to make sure you’re seeing a physician expert in musculoskeletal medicine to make sure that you’re actually making that, you’re actually addressing the issue properly and that you’re not just masking the pain. A great example of this, is actually a patient of mine who had a PCL, posterior cruciate ligament injury in his knee several years ago. He’s active military still. He’s more on the training side now. But I essentially see him roughly every six months or so for PRP treatment. At which time we’re treating a number of different ligaments in the knee his PCL, his ACL as well as his medial collateral ligament and some of his patellofemoral ligaments and also treating the patellofemoral joint. What’s helpful in that case is we’ve been able to give him better stability, which has enabled him to continue to function and train at a very high level that he’s required to do as part of his work and in the military. In addition, it’s also helped in terms of just a day to day activities and pain relief as well. Taking a treatment that is relatively very limited in risk and invasiveness, right. And just injecting his own platelets to help keep him going at that kind of level, taking a chronic injury and helping him to stay that physically active is incredibly key. And again, it’s important to understand that most chronic degenerative issues, chronic arthritis or chronic tendinopathy patients are typically they’ve had a milder injury at some point and if you can treat some of those milder injuries at an earlier stage, you give yourself a better chance of preventing this from progressing. Wonderful, so that’s what I want to talk about with chronic injuries today. I see there’s a question that I have regarding chronic pain and also having MS. Is regenerative medicine a treatment option. Yeah, so from a chronic pain standpoint it depends on why you have it right. Is it chronic pain because, let’s say an area has been chronically weakened or unstable and has progressively become degenerative. If it’s at the level of the joint or tendon or ligaments, then that can be treated. If it’s higher up, let’s say at the level of spinal cord, I don’t think there’s enough evidence that’s really a proper treatment for multiple sclerosis at this time. There may be experts in neurology or neurosurgery that have a different opinion but at least from my perspective, I’m still possibly a candidate if the issue is at the level of the joint or the tendon, but probably not a candidate if it’s at the level of the spine. Great. Well, thank you very much for everyone’s time. As a reminder, we do this on Mondays and Wednesdays answering your questions, discussing concepts that are relevant to what we do here at Chicago Arthritis and Regenerative Medicine, focusing on nonsurgical, management and treatment of arthritis, tendonitis, injuries and back pain. In addition, I’m also doing a webinar today four o’clock central standard time. You’ll see a link for that below on whichever platform you’re watching where I’m discussing regenerative medicine treatments for lower back pain. Until next time, until we talk again, have a good day and live well. Bye bye
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