When I originally began learning musculoskeletal ultrasound in 2006, I spent quite a bit of time scanning tendons, in particular shoulder rotator cuff tendons. What I noticed was that the typical treatments used for tendonitis rarely actually improved tendon injuries. People had temporary pain relief, but their pain would return. Furthermore, the abnormal tendon findings on ultrasound would not improve with the older non-regenerative treatments.
Tendonitis and Tendinopathy – Prime Candidates for Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, or Prolotherapy
Tendons are different than joints. The approach towards treatment both utilize similar concepts, but the actual technique is slightly different. Trying to heal a tendon involves a precise treatment approach, and sometimes a more delicate approach as compared to treating arthritis.
We need a tendon clinic because we need better treatments for tendonitis. Our focus of trying to preserve and heal tendon architecture, and maximize tendon strength and function is at the core of how we approach treating tendon injuries at Chicago Arthritis.
The older approach to treating tendon injuries focuses on masking pain. Even the term “tendonitis” is antiquated. The more appropriate term is tendinopathy, indicating pathology to the tendon. “Itis” implies inflammation, and many tendinopathies are not significantly inflamed, rather the tendon is weakened and torn. Hence the focus on shifting from toxic treatments such as steroids, towards more cell based regenerative treatments such as platelet rich plasma, stem cells, and prolotherapy, that focus on trying to reverse the damage or degeneration that is causing pain.
If you’re located near Chicago, Illinois and are interested in visiting a tendon clinic that offers the most advanced regenerative procedures available in the U.S today, call us at 773.348.7171 to set up an appointment.