If you are struggling to find relief for your joint pain after physical therapy and/or medications, you might be considering joint injections as your next step. Cortisone injections are a common procedure with the goal of reducing pain in damaged joints. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections and other orthobiologic injections are gaining popularity in sports medicine and orthopedics. Let’s break down the differences and how to determine what’s best for you when it comes to these two non-operative treatment options.
What is a Cortisone Injection?
Traditionally a more common and well-known approach, cortisone injections are used by orthopedic specialists at Forté to treat a wide variety of conditions. Derived from a type of steroid called corticosteroids that became popular because of their strong anti-inflammatory properties and instant pain relief, cortisone injections are most commonly used in our joints to reduce inflammation and pain and get people back to their everyday activities. Better suited for a short-term solution, cortisone injections act as more of a band-aid to the underlying issue and require close monitoring, as frequent usage can cause tissue damage and unwanted side effects. While the injection helps reduce pain, it typically doesn’t cure the underlying problem that is causing the inflammation.
What is a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection?
PRP injections involve the process of using the properties in your blood through a blood draw followed by a machine that separates the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood.
After numbing the problematic area, a Forte specialist will use a needle to inject your PRP into the targeted area. After an initial period of an increase in pain, the goal of the injection is prolonged pain and anti-inflammatory relief for things like arthritis-related pain In addition to soft tissue Injuries (tendon, ligament, muscle). Because this method uses your own blood, PRP injections help promote your own body’s response to pain and injured tissues.
Which Option Is Right for Me?
When there are many different treatment options available, it can be difficult to navigate the path to finding relief from your pain. Our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists can help guide you through the risks, benefits and alternative options to help you get back to living the life you want.
Our very own Dr. Matthew Negaard specializes in ultrasound-guided injections, PRP treatments, orthobiologics, and sports medicine. Request an appointment HERE or call at 317.817.1200.
If you turn to Google for quick and easy ways to treat arthritis pain, you’ll likely find suggestions like:
Or the common “RICE method”: rest, ice, compression and elevation.
All are good treatment options. But sometimes, pain caused by arthritis needs elevated solutions beyond the RICE fix that are still considered non-operative treatment options. Orthobiologic injections fall under this category.
What Are Orthobiologic Injections?
Orthobiologics are innate tissue-derived products that a trained physician may use to aid in pain reduction and function restoration and potentially avoid or delay major procedures. The orthobiologic substances consist of cells, proteins, glycoproteins and other substances that are naturally found in the body.
What Conditions Are Orthobiologics Used to Treat?
There are a variety of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions that orthobiologics are being used to treat, such as mild-to-moderate arthritis.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is made from your own blood. Blood is drawn and then prepared by spinning in a centrifuge where the platelets with proteins with anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects are separated. The platelets are injected back into your arthritic area. This procedure is performed by Forté specialists.
Other Treatment Options for Arthritis
There are several different treatment options for osteoarthritis. Some of the more beneficial treatments can be lifestyle modifications including weight loss, dietary changes and implementing an exercise routine. Physical therapy, topical or oral NSAIDs (naproxen, acetaminophen) and bracing are also often used. There are also other injection options. The most common type of injection is a corticosteroid injection, often referred to as a “cortisone” injection.
If non-surgical treatment options have failed, learn more about our joint replacement program at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.
Looking for Relief?
Request an appointment with a Forté orthopedic physician to learn what treatment options are right for you.
Random injuries that occur while performing daily activities and prevent us from going about our regular schedule are, unfortunately, not all that uncommon. One of our patients, Barbara, suffered from a recent injury when she tripped and landed on her knees. This fall generated such excruciating pain that she couldn't walk without crutches.
“The next morning,” Barbara recounts, “I hobbled my way into the Forté Fast Orthopedic Care walk-in clinic and was seen right away. They did X-rays, found a hairline crack in the kneecap (patella fracture) and started physical therapy immediately. In just six weeks, I was a pain-free and proud PT graduate, thanks to the orthopedic walk-in care at Forté!”
When unexpected accidents arise, immediately obtaining a correct diagnosis in order to rapidly implement a treatment plan—whatever that looks like—is a crucial first step. One of the many benefits of a same-day appointment is that it assists in the overall recovery by expediting the healing process. By offering this level of orthopedic urgent care at Forté Fast, patients like Barbara are able to experience a one-stop-shop perk when an injury occurs. Taking advantage of an orthopedic walk-in appointment, she was seen by an orthopedic physician, got x-rays, was diagnosed and set up with a physical therapist—all in the same building! Her experience with Forté Fast completely affected her recovery process for the better.
Forté Fast Orthopedic Care is designed to provide immediate access for acute issues, such as a broken bone, sprain, fracture, dislocation and more. We offer same-day convenient services depending on your individual needs, including expert-level orthopedic evaluation, rehab, imaging, medical supplies and more. By offering same-day access to a specialist, we give patients the opportunity to start feeling better, faster. We focus on getting people back to full mobility and comfort under expert-level care.
Staying fit and active is an important part of maintaining our overall health, Dr. Matthew Negaard, Sports Medicine Physician and Emergency Medicine Physician of Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics emphasizes. In fact, exercise allows us to:
But aren't arthritic patients advised to avoid putting too much stress on their joints?
Yes, Negaard answers, but there are many forms of exercise that are low-impact, including biking, swimming, water aerobics, walking on the treadmill or elliptical, rowing and yoga. Most studies suggest, he adds, that even running does not appear to accelerate the progress of osteoarthritis, so long as you allow adequate rest between runs.
Low-impact training provides all the cardiovascular benefits of exercise without placing stress on your joints, assisting in active recovery and improving blood flow and circulation to the muscles, the American College of Sports Medicine explains. What's more, the benefits are not limited to the physical - one important result of exercise is the management of anxiety and depression. "Every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance for a minimum of two days per week, the CDC recommends.
For those with arthritis, low-impact activity is encouraged. If pain or injury is holding you back from regular activity, let the experts at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics help. Request an appointment now.
Our Noblesville Forté Fast orthopedic urgent care clinic will be closed on Wednesday, June 7th and Friday, June 9th.