In keeping with that philosophy, we will insist that each patient have a comprehensive work up in order to determine if you are a candidate for one of the orthobiologic treaments. Prior to your procedure, we may ask you to get current x-rays performed to our specifications. Additionally, every spine procedure that we do will require a current MRI. Some patients we will refer to the NOSI MRI, which is a new software based MRI that will allow us to target your pain areas very specifically. Colorado Springs Orthopedic Group is the only practice in the state with access to this innovative technology that allows us to predict which spine discs are symptomatic.
On the day of your procedure, we want you to wear comfortable clothing that allows us access to the injection site. If we are doing PRP, we will also need to be able to access your arm to draw the blood.
Every injection we do at Sunstone is done under image guidance. If we are doing your injection at our clinic, the practitioners will use the ultrasound machine to make sure that the treatment is targeted to the specific area that is causing your pain. For spine procedures performed at the surgery center, a flouroscopy (XRAY) machine is used to direct treatment. This level of expertise and safety is unmatched in the area.
After the procedure, the area we injected will feel numb because a local anesthetic is used along with the treatment. Normal activities of daily living are allowed, but do not put extreme stress on the area and avoid activities such as high-impact sports or running for 4 to 6 weeks after your injection. You can expect to feel tightness as we are injecting additional fluid volume into the treatment area. With this extra fluid in the joint, strenuous activity will definitely increase your pain following the injections. You can perform normal activities such as walking or driving. If you have had a knee or hip injection, you may experience numbness or weakness in the leg and if you place significant weight on that extremity, you may fall, so please be aware of this potential for weakness which should wear off in 6-8 hours after the injection.
It is normal to feel slightly weak, sore or full in the area injected. Avoid using over the counter anti-inflammatories for pain relief for at least a week. The idea behind these regenerative injections is to begin a cellular healing cascade which will stimulate growth and encourage your own stem cells to move to the area.
What else does this injection contain?
In addition to stem cells, these also contain many other vital substances for the healing process, such as growth factors, fibrocytes, epidermal cells and amino acids. These “other substances” are likely responsible for much of the beneficial effects of these injections.
What are your “results”?
This is a challenging question to answer because of the many different factors that come into play with a regenerative medicine treatment. First, each patient has varying levels of pain, disease progression, structural differences, etc., and then there are also such variances in tolerance to pain, age and overall health.
Additionally, we work with each person to set realistic goals for their treatment based on their individual condition. Some people want to be able to compete at a high level in extreme sports and others want to have their pain reduced so that they can do day-to-day activities. Others understand that they need a joint replacement, but hope to put that off for a few years. Because of all of these factors, our providers tend to be very particular with respect to patient candidacy. We don’t want to just take your money and do an injection and hope for the best. We want to make sure that we give you the best chance for success. Overall, in the right patient with the correct treatment applied properly our patients have excellent results.
Regenerative therapy procedures are very different then say a pain procedure such as a steroid shot. With a steroid shot you can expect an immediate anti-inflammatory effect that may bring you some relief. With the regenerative medicine procedure, there is a chance that you may notice some pain relief after a few weeks but typically you will not notice significant impact until at least 6-8 weeks with the full effect becoming clear over six months or longer. The cells in the area treated need the chance to regenerate, stimulate collagen deposits and build the scaffolding of the tissues through the healing response of your body.