Friday, January 22, 2016

What is PRP Therapy and How Does It Help Recovery From Injuries?

A sports or overuse injury can be devastating to anyone, whether you are an elite athlete or the
weekend warrior.  The most common types of sports injuries are those involving the tendons, muscles, and ligaments and recovery time can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.  Typical treatments for sports injuries include medications, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery; however, PRP injections, or platelet-rich plasma, is a new treatment in sports medicine and can help speed the healing and recovery process. 

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Plasma is blood and a liquid; however, it contains solid components such as red and white blood cells and platelets.  Platelets are known for their clotting function, but they also have hundreds of growth factor proteins within them that help with healing.  PRP has a protein concentration that is 5 to 10 times higher than what is found in normal blood.  PRP is a natural treatment and comes from the patient’s own body.  The blood is drawn, platelets are separated from the other cells, and then their concentration is increased through a process called centrifugation.  These highly concentrated platelets are then put back into the blood, which is then used as an injection.

How Does PRP Work?
Laboratory evaluations of the platelet-rich plasma suggests that the additional growth factors are responsible for the speedy recovery doctors have seen in their patients after the injection.  In many cases, PRP injections are used in combination with physical therapy to ensure optimal healing of the initial injury as well as strengthening of the afflicted area.

What Sports Injuries Benefit the Most from PRP?
As of right now, the greatest benefits have been seen in chronic tendon injuries such as tennis elbow, and acute muscle and ligament injuries such as a pulled hamstring and knee sprain.  However, PRP for the treatment of Achilles tendonitis, postsurgical healing, knee arthritis, and fractures has also been shown to be beneficial.  If you are suffering a chronic injury, PRP injections may provide an alternative to a surgical procedure. 

Many people are candidates for PRP therapy, especially people who are not surgical candidates. Learn more about this exciting technique below, and schedule a consultation in St. Peters or O'Fallon with Dr. Larkin to see if you are a candidate. Call our appointment line at (636) 229-4222 or request one online.

Understanding Arthritis of the Hip and How To Treat It

In 2010, 22% of the U.S. population reported having some type of arthritis.  That percentage
increases in the elderly to over 50%, with 1 in 4 suffering from hip arthritis before the age of 85.  The term “arthritis” means “inflammation of the joint,” and can cause pain in the hip and groin.  This is a progressive condition, getting worse over time.  There are five main types of arthritis that affect the hip, however three of these forms account for most causes of arthritis of the hip. 

Hip Anatomy
The hip is one of the body’s largest weight-bearing joints.  It is the area where thighbone connects to the pelvis.  This forms a ball-in-socket joint that is connected by bands of tissues called ligaments.  There are two parts of the hip joint: the femoral head (located at the top of the thighbone), and the acetabulum (the pelvic socket that houses the femoral head).  The ligaments that connect these points create the joint capsule.  The capsule is lined with synovium, a thin protective membrane that produces a viscous fluid, which lubricates the joint.  The fluid-filled sacs called bursae protect the areas where bones, tendons, and muscles meet and cause friction.  Multiple large muscles surround the hip and support movement and flexibility. 

Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis:  This is the most common form of arthritis found in the hip.  It means “arthritis of the bone.”  Osteoarthritis is far more common in the elderly and referred to as “wear and tear” on the joints.  When the smooth cartilage in the joint wears away, the bones rub together and cause pain.  This can lead to degeneration and permanently damage the joint.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:  This disorder affects the entire body, rather than just the hip joint and is caused by an immune response.  The synovial lining that surrounds the joint capsule becomes swollen, which causes pain and, eventually, deterioration of the bone and joint.

Psoriatic Arthritis:  This type of arthritis is related to the skin disease, psoriasis.  It can cause stiffness, swelling, and pain in any joint.  Generally, patients will have the skin disease first, characterized by scaly red patches on the skin; however, it is possible to develop the arthritis form of the condition first. 

Symptoms of Arthritis of the Hip
All types of arthritis share the same symptoms, which include the following:
·      Pain in and around the hip, including in the thigh, groin, and buttocks regions
·      Difficulty walking
·      Pain with prolonged or vigorous activity
·      Stiffness or limited range of motion
·      Pain that is worse in the morning, but gets better after light activity or stretching

Don’t let hip pain hold you back from what you love to do! Call Advanced Bone & Joint today to learn more about our comprehensive hip treatments. To make an appointment, use our online form or call us in St. Peters or O'Fallon at (636) 229-4222

What Does “Degenerative Disc Disease” Actually Mean?

Degenerative disc disease often refers to symptoms of pain, numbness and weakness that may be radiating around the back or down the leg.  There is no simple explanation of degenerative
disc disease, however, as many patients often wonder what the diagnosis means and how it will affect their daily life.  It is important to note that everyone will have some signs of wear and tear on their spinal discs as they age, but not everyone will experience the symptoms commonly associated with the condition.  It would surprise many patients to know that degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease at all.  Below, we will discuss the nature of degenerative disc disease to help patients better understand the diagnosis.

Anatomy of the Discs
First, in order to better understand the various conditions that can happen as a result of injury, trauma or everyday wear and tear, we need to understand the structure of the spinal discs.  The discs lie between the vertebrae and act as shock absorbers.  There are two parts to these discs: the annulus fibrosus (the tough outer layer) and the nucleus pulposus (the jelly-like core). If these proteins leak into the outer layer and touch the nerves that exit the spine, it can cause a great deal of pain.

The Diagnosis is a Misnomer
While this diagnosis of degenerative disc disease can be alarming to many patients, it is not necessarily a threatening condition.  “Degenerative” to most people means that it will progressively get worse over time; however, this term is referring more to the process of discs degenerating as you age rather than the progression of the pain itself.

“Disease” may also cause confusion as well, because it denotes an illness.  Degenerative disc disease is not an illness but a condition that may or may not cause pain from a damaged disc.  Most, if not all, people will have some form of this condition; however, it is when the discs become damaged, bulging, or herniated that worrisome symptoms begin to arise.  

In most cases, the pain from a degenerative disc condition can be managed with conservative modalities, such as physical therapy and spinal injections.  It is only when these modalities fail to provide adequate relief that surgery is considered.

If you have acute or chronic neck or back pain, turn to our board-certified, fellowship-trained Spine Team for high quality care designed specifically for you. To schedule a consultation at Advanced Bone & Joint, call our office in St. Peters or O'Fallon, Missouri, at (636) 229-4222 or use our secure online appointment request form.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

ABJ Proudly Hosting Hygiene Drive For Shower to the People!

In our continuing efforts to give back to the St. Louis area community, Advanced Bone and Joint will be collecting items for Shower to the People through the end of February.  For those interested in donating, we will have collection boxes at our St. Peters location.  The most needed items are:

  • Bar Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Pads and Tampons
  • Washcloths and Towels
  • Basic First Aid Items
What is Shower to the People?
Shower to the People exists for the most vulnerable citizens among us. Through mobile shower units, hygiene supply distribution and relationship building, Shower to the People seeks to Restore Dignity, Foster Hope, and Empower Upward Mobility to our friends and neighbors living on the streets of our beloved city.

Just as in our effort to protect human dignity in our interactions, our labors, and in our devotion to solidarity, Shower To The People establishes bonds of friendship with everyone we encounter. Because we love people. Because we abhor the giver-receiver mentality. Because we believe that while friendship may not necessarily be a means for our survival, life without it is incomplete.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Advanced Bone and Joint Announces New Location and New Physician

Spine Surgeon Added to Team and O’Fallon Office Now Open 

St. Peters, MO – JANUARY 7, 2015 – In an effort to serve additional patients throughout St. Charles County, Advanced Bone and Joint has expanded its footprint by opening an office in O’Fallon, MO.  The 2,800 sq. ft office is located at 4651 State Highway K and offers on-site diagnostic imaging and ultrasound.   The O’Fallon location will offer the full spectrum of expertise from Advanced Bone and Joint’s team of highly skilled orthopaedic physicians and specialists.  This location is in addition to the existing St. Peters location which features the Quick Care orthopaedic urgent care center, on-site diagnostic imaging, ultrasound, the OWN weight loss and nutrition center, as well as complete MRI imaging in the same building.  Advanced Bone and Joint prides itself on its multi-disciplinary approach to patient care and utilizes the expertise of an entire team of orthopaedic specialists to create a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient.

In addition to this new location, Advanced Bone and Joint has also proudly announced the addition of Fellowship Trained Spinal Surgeon, David P. Minges MD, to its award winning medical team.  Dr. Minges attended Creighton University School of Medicine and graduated in 2009.  He then underwent residency training in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Nebraska, serving as Chief Resident in his final year. Dr. Minges then completed a Fellowship in Orthopaedic Spine Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015.  While at the University of Pittsburgh he was also mentored by some of the most well respected academic spine surgeons in the country, receiving advanced training in complex cervical and thoracolumbar surgeries.  Dr. Minges’ innovative techniques will serve in compliment to the Interventional Pain Management program already in place at Advanced Bone and Joint.


About Advanced Bone and Joint
Since 1980, Advanced Bone & Joint (formerly St. Peters Bone & Joint Surgery) has provided comprehensive, quality orthopaedic care to residents of the St. Charles County and the St. Louis, Missouri area. From diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, we focus on customized, patient-centered care utilizing state-of-the-art medical technology and cutting-edge procedures to ensure the best possible outcomes for all of our patients.   At Advanced Bone & Joint, our Board Certified Orthopaedic physicians treat a variety of orthopaedic conditions and utilize cutting-edge surgical and non-surgical techniques to ensure the best outcomes for your condition. These include conditions affecting the neck and back, hip and knee, shoulder and elbow, foot and ankle and the hand and wrist.