The shoulder is one of the most complicated and mobile joints in our body. As we get older, this mobility can result in painful osteoarthritis. Younger adults who participate in athletic competitions and those who simply overuse their shoulders may also experience this condition. Fortunately, there have been recent breakthroughs, including platelet rich plasma therapy, which are proving to be an alternative to shoulder replacement.
Why Do So Many Of Us Get Osteoarthritis
Don’t think you can escape shoulder pain if you are still young or not an athlete. We all use our shoulders every day and all day. This condition occurs as we gradually lose the cartilage located at the end of our shoulder bones. This smooth substance allows us to move our shoulder joint smoothly and in almost every direction without pain.
Eventually, as the cartilage continues to degenerate, we can find ourselves with joint stiffness and in pain. Most physicians will treat your shoulder pain with all the typical conservative treatments, but if those therapies are unsuccessful, shoulder replacement surgery is normally recommended.
PRP As An Alternative To Surgery
Physicians are learning more about how our own body helps to enhance healing properties. Known as regenerative medicine, platelet rich plasma (PRP) releases growth factors that stimulate and increase the number of repair cells our bodies produce.
Blood or bone marrow is taken from a patient and placed into a centrifuge to get a concentration of platelets. It is essential that the kit a physician is using is FDA approved to ensure the concentration is at the correct level to treat the shoulder effectively.
The concentrated blood mixture is then directly injected into the shoulder to speed up the healing process and regenerate the lost cartilage.
There are several benefits of PRP therapy which include the following:
- Reduces the need for anti-inflammatory medications or opioids for pain
- Limited side effects since it uses your own blood or bone marrow
- Helps to slow down the progression of arthritis by protecting whatever cartilage is still there
The greatest benefit of regenerative medicine is that it uses each patient’s individual healing system to improve injuries and reduce pain.
Contact Dr. Alicia Carter at 305-680-3527 if you have tried other therapies for your shoulder pain, including cortisone shots, and are looking for an alternative to shoulder replacement surgery.