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Spinal stenosis causes the spinal canal to narrow. When this occurs, it can lead to the compression and damage of the spinal nerves. As a result, individuals may experience various symptoms that can affect the back and legs. There are many different conditions that can cause spinal stenosis, including arthritis, degenerative disc disease, or spondylolisthesis (a vertebral condition).
Some of the common symptoms of the condition include tingling in the back or legs, numbness, and pain. These may be accompanied by muscle weakness, difficulty walking, and balance issues. In some cases, individuals may also experience bladder or bowel incontinence due to nerve compression. These symptoms range from mild to harsh.
The goal of conventional treatment for spinal stenosis is to provide pain relief. Common treatments include rest, physical therapy, and medication. Surgery may be recommended in some cases, but it comes with numerous risks and potential complications. Surgery is incredibly invasive and should only be considered as a last resort. Surgery is expensive, often requires lengthy recovery periods, and can lead to infections, nerve damage, and allergic reactions.
Keeping this in mind, the following is a brief overview of some of the conventional treatment options for spinal stenosis:
Corticosteroid injections are one of the most common treatments for spinal stenosis. They involve injecting a steroid medication directly into the affected area. The steroids can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain and stiffness. Although they can temporarily relieve pain and inflammation, they do not address the condition’s underlying cause. Therefore, they generally only provide short-term effects and may need to be repeated regularly.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are another common treatment for spinal stenosis. These medications are intended to reduce inflammation and provide some relief from pain. However, they may lead to side effects such as stomach irritation, nausea, and kidney problems. Like corticosteroid injections, they don’t address the underlying cause of the symptoms. Additionally, they often lose efficacy the longer you rely on them to mask your symptoms.
Foraminotomy is a surgery that can be used to treat spinal stenosis. This procedure involves widening the area where the nerves exit your spine to reduce pressure.
Laminotomy is similar to foraminotomy but instead involves removing a piece of bone from the spine. This allows more space for the nerves and can reduce pain and pressure on them.
Laminectomy is a more extensive procedure than foraminotomy and laminotomy. It involves the removal of the entire lamina and spinal ligaments. This can help to reduce pressure on the nerves and allow them to function normally again.
Spinal stabilization surgery is usually only advised for people with severe spinal stenosis. For example, if one of the vertebrae in your spine has shifted out of place and is causing the spinal canal to narrow. This procedure involves the insertion of rods, screws, or plates into your spine to hold it together and restore proper alignment. They will then use bone graft material to help fuse the vertebrae together so they can no longer move. This procedure is incredibly invasive and carries a high risk of complications.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a solution containing a concentrated form of platelets derived from your own blood. It contains growth factors that can help to reduce inflammation and promote tissue regeneration and healing. This procedure typically involves taking a sample of your blood. This sample is then processed in a centrifuge (spinner) to concentrate the platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the affected area.
PRP is a safe and effective method for treating many types of medical conditions, including spinal stenosis. This is because PRP solutions consist of nothing but your own blood and, therefore, carry a much lower risk of complications, such as allergic reactions.
PRP is incredibly effective for treating spinal stenosis. This is because PRP treatment can help increase blood flow in the affected area. As a result, any swelling or inflammation that is compressing the nerves can be reduced, helping relieve pain, numbness, and other symptoms.
Additionally, PRP treatment can help stimulate tissue regeneration and healing in the affected area. This can help to strengthen the spine and minimize the risk of further injury or damage. It also promotes better mobility, which can improve how you feel overall.
PRP injections are not an uncommon treatment method. However, the success of any PRP treatment depends mainly on the quality and concentration of platelets used as well as the skill of the doctor performing the procedure.
At Orthagenex, our PRP injections are produced with the highest standards of safety and quality. Our team consists of experienced orthopedic doctors who use advanced techniques to ensure you receive the best possible treatment. The following are examples of why our PRP treatment is superior to other providers:
The typical provider will use blind PRP solutions, meaning they will inject the solution into an area without seeing exactly where it is going. They’re essentially guessing at the best location to inject the solution.
At Orthagenex, we use a combination of MSK (musculoskeletal) ultrasound and fluoroscopy imaging technologies to see exactly where the PRP solution is being injected. MSK ultrasound uses sound waves to develop an image of the body’s soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. We combine MSK ultrasound with fluoroscopy, which uses X-rays to create images of the body’s bones to get an accurate view of your entire spine.
This image-guided approach allows us to place PRP solutions precisely where they are needed, offering superior results to traditional blind injections.
Traditional PRP solutions are processed in a bedside centrifuge. However, this means there’s little room for customization, and the quality of the solution can be inconsistent.
Orthagenex uses lab-processed PRP solutions. By processing our PRP solutions in a lab, we can create customized treatments to meet each patient’s individual needs. This allows our PRP solutions to have a higher concentration of platelets (up to 30 times as many), which leads to superior results. The following are two ways in which we can customize our PRP solutions:
Traditional PRP solutions are referred to as “red PRP” because of the red color that is caused by the presence of red and white blood cells. However, at Orthagenex, we use a special technique to remove as many red and white blood cells from our PRP solutions as possible, creating an “Amber PRP” solution. We use Amber PRP to treat our patients because lab tests conducted have indicated that red and white blood cells can actually inhibit the healing process by causing inflammation.
Using a specific lab platform allows us to create a next-generation PRP solution called platelet lysate (PL). When treating spinal stenosis, we tend to use this next-generation PL instead of the traditional PRP because PL treatment is less likely to trigger inflammation, making it safer for use near the spine. Additionally, PL injections result in the immediate release of growth factors, whereas traditional PRP injections result in a gradual release over time.
At Orthagenex, we realize there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for our patients, even if they share similar conditions. This is why we take great care in customizing our PRP solutions to each patient’s individual needs. The following are examples of our capability to customize our PRP treatments:
Our team of orthopedic doctors uses a specific lab platform to customize our PRP solutions to create personalized treatments for each patient. Using the platform, we can remove any components from the PRP solution we’re processing that may not be beneficial or cause further complications while concentrating on the beneficial components. This allows us to fine-tune our PRP solutions so that they are specifically tailored to each patient’s individual needs, which leads to better results and more successful treatment.
Bone marrow concentrate (BMC) is a solution containing various stem cells and growth factors found in your bone marrow. In some circumstances, we may recommend a BMC injection over our PRP treatment, depending on the condition being treated. For instance, although PRP is quite effective for treating mild arthritis, we may recommend BMC treatment instead if your arthritis is particularly severe.
At Orthagenex, our team consists of experienced orthopedic doctors who are board-certified and fellowship-trained in interventional orthopedics. Only 1% of US physicians are trained in this field, which shows just how dedicated and experienced our team is. Our doctors have undergone extensive training to be able to provide the best possible treatments for a range of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system.
Our team has expertise in MSK ultrasound and specializes in several core competencies, such as using image guidance to place injectates and performing SANS (stability, articulation, neuromuscular, and symmetry) evaluations. These are all critical skills for providing effective PRP treatments, and our doctors have years of experience in these areas that set them apart from other physicians.
Our experienced Orthagenex team understands the importance of treating spinal stenosis without surgery. That’s why we offer PRP injections as an alternative to traditional surgical treatment options. With PRP, you can benefit from a safe and effective treatment tailored specifically to your needs so that you can get the pain relief you deserve. Contact us today to find out more about our PRP treatments and how they can help you.
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