The Gittens Clinic July 2019


JULY 2019



As athletes and active DIY-ers get older, the parts of their bodies they have heavily relied on degrade, especially their knees. The effects might not be immediate, as it may not happen all at once. However, if you notice any knee pain or swelling, it may be time to start exploring knee care options like PRP therapy or knee replacement surgery. My introduction to PRP therapy, though, is connected to how I learned about stem cells. I was initially introduced to stem cells by a colleague. I became interested because many of my patients had pain they treated with opiates. My interest was piqued when I went tomy local gym, and numerous members askedme if I performed stem cell injections. Since then, I have attended numerous classes and conferences on stem cells and plasma rich platelets and was trained on the injection of stem cells and plasma rich platelets for joint pain. PRPTherapy Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is plasma in the blood that contains concentrated platelets. These platelets containmassive pools of bioactive proteins that include growth factors imperative to starting and accelerating tissue repair and tissue regeneration. These specific proteins do a host of things in the healing process, such as healing connective tissue, regenerating and repairing bone, furthering the development of new blood vessels, and invigorating the wound healing process. The first step in PRP therapy is drawing a small amount of blood from the patient and placing it into a centrifuge. The machine spins and concentrates the PRP; the entire production takes less than 25 minutes. The platelets and growth factors are increased by up to 10 times their normal levels. Once the PRP is injected into the area in need, it stimulates the tendon or ligament, causing slight inflammation. This triggers the healing process, and the new collagen starts to develop. As it matures, it begins to shrink, causing the tendons or ligaments to tighten and strengthen. Pain relief typically starts between three to four weeks, while symptoms improve for up to three to six months. There is also far less pain associated with PRP therapy than with knee surgery, and no hospitalization is required. Knee Replacement Surgery In a total knee replacement surgery, the knee joint is replaced with a prosthetic made of metal, ceramic, medical-grade plastic, or polyester components. The four

steps in the surgery start with prepping the bone, which entails removing the cartilage surfaces found at the end of the femur and tibia, along with some of the underlying bone. Positioning the metal implants, the second part of the process, replaces the removed bone and cartilage withmetal components to restore the surface of the joint.

Next, the undersurface of the kneecap is cut and resurfaced with a high-grade plastic button. Finally, the doctor inserts a high-grade plastic spacer between the metal pieces to create a smooth gliding surface.

While knee surgeries have been common in the past, options like PRP therapy make it impossible to ignore the risks involved with such an invasive surgical procedure. These risks include infection, blood clotting, heart attack, stroke, and nerve damage. The average recovery time from knee surgery is four to six months, which can cause patients to further delay treatment and increase the potential of one of these risks occurring. In addition to PRP therapy being less evasive than knee replacement, the recovery time is much shorter. At our office, we even use a freezing agent to numb the skin and lessen the pain. In the four to six months it would take to recover from knee replacement, you’ll

experience the full potential of your PRP therapy. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 1-833-448-8367 for a free consultation, visit our website at StemCellTherapyForJoints. com, or visit our Stuart, Miami, or Palm Beach Gardens offices.

-Dr. Carl Gittens


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