Advances in Knee Replacements

This new design allows surgeons to preserve the important central ligaments of the knee called the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. This design should allow a knee replacement to move, respond, and feel more like a normal knee.

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The Anterior Hip

Patients are being told by both surgeons and orthopedic implant companies that Anterior Hip Replacement approach offers something unique and different compared to other approaches. This is a flatly untrue, unscientifically supported myth...

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Outpatient Joint Replacement

With Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery, patients are able to return home the same day as the procedure. Patients also begin physical therapy within hours of surgery.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma Supplements

Osteoarthritis of the hip can interfere with your day-to-day activities, and might even prevent you from doing certain activities altogether. Conservative treatments, such as ice packs, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy, may be used at first, but these methods are not effective for everyone.

If you suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip and conservative treatment methods are not helping to relieve your pain, platelet-rich plasma supplements may be an option for you.

What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

Our blood is mostly made up of a liquid called plasma, but it also contains small, solid components—red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. While you may be familiar with platelets as an important factor in clotting blood, they are also rich in connective tissue growth factors. Growth factors are proteins that play a major part in healing injuries.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a nonsurgical alternative treatment that can help control and relieve pain from osteoarthritis, using platelets from the patient's own blood.

During the procedure, the patient's blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge that separates out the platelets. The platelets can then be injected into the damaged tendon or cartilage. This procedure can generally be done in less than an hour. Dr. Ballard may first administer local anesthesia to help minimize pain and discomfort in the skin and underlying tissues during the PRP injection. Ultrasound guidance may be used to ensure that the injection is placed in the correct area.

It is important to avoid taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin for seven days prior to the procedure and for six weeks after the last injection. You may also need to wear a sling, walking boot, or knee brace immediately following the procedure to immobilize the area. As with all procedures, it is important to follow all instructions both prior to and following treatment to achieve optimal results.

Because PRP supplements are obtained from your own blood, this treatment is not recommended for those with blood-borne cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma, or other blood-borne diseases. It is also not recommended for those with any current infection. The best candidates for PRP therapy have mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the hip

Although PRP supplements are used all over the world to treat osteoarthritis, it is important to note that this treatment is not FDA approved in the United States for use on hips, and therefore insurance will not cover this procedure.

Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma Supplements

PRP supplements can be very helpful in relieving pain for some patients. In some cases, PRP supplements can help a patient to postpone surgery or even avoid it altogether. Treatment can generally produce permanent results for those with tendon or ligament injuries, and may help to prevent further damage to the cartilage in those with arthritis. Also, because PRP supplements are obtained from the patient's own blood, there is minimal risk of adverse reactions to treatment, such as infection, tissue damage, and nerve injury.

PRP therapy can also allow for a shorter healing time than would be possible with surgery. While you will still need to undergo a period of rest—generally six weeks—you will typically be able to begin physical therapy one week following treatment. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities within three months. More complex injuries may require more than one injection to see results; injections can usually be administered every eight to 12 weeks. Follow-up visits with Dr. Ballard will be scheduled to check healing progress and to determine whether further treatment is needed.

While platelet-rich plasma therapy is still a relatively new procedure, the associated risks are generally minimal compared to other forms of treatment, and PRP treatment, combined with physical therapy, can help to relieve pain and possibly delay or avoid surgery in the future.

Dr. James Ballard: Advanced Orthopaedic Care in the Portland Area

Dr. Ballard keeps current on the latest advancements in orthopaedic care, including platelet-rich plasma supplements. For more information about treatment, or to set up an appointment, you may contact his offices in Oregon City or Tualatin.