For many patients, image-guided injections into or surrounding an injured joint, ligament, tendon or muscle provides a non-surgical solution to orthopedic injuries. All injections in our facilities are performed under Ultrasound or Fluoroscopic (real-time X-ray) guidance to improve their effectiveness and minimize risk. As a pain management speciailist, Dr. Lopez utilizes a broad range of injections for orthopedic, spine and joint conditions. His injections go well beyond simple corticosteroids (cortisone) and include the following:
- PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
- Regenerative-Restorative Injections with various biochemical solutions
What is Viscosupplementation?
Now, there are alternatives to drugs and surgery which involves a natural balance between state of the art science and nature. Healthy knee and hip joints have synovial fluid with high concentration of a substance known as HYALURONIC ACID (HA). HA is essential for normal joint function and is responsible for:
- Shock absorbing and lubricating properties
- Reducing wear and attrition of cartilage
- Providing nutrition to cartilage
- Metabolites and unhealthy substances from joint fluid
How is Viscosupplementation a Treatment for Patients Suffering from Arthritis?
Viscosupplementation (injecting a solution of hyaluronic acid) is a breakthrough, non-surgical injection treatment option for patients suffering from arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease which afflicts millions of Americans and is responsible for a great deal of lost time at work, reduced capacity to perform daily activities at home, and inability to enjoy recreation with family and loved ones. Cartilage is the tissue which covers the ends of bones within a joint, and tends to wear down in osteoarthritis. The synovial fluid in arthritic joints, tends to lose its viscosity and lubricating properties…sort of like what happens to engine oil when left to run in the motor too long!
Why Choose Viscosupplementation with Dr. Lopez?
Dr. Lopez is trained to administer the injections with minimal discomfort to the patient and uses state-of-the-art image guidance to maximize a successful outcome. Research has shown that up to 30% of injections performed "blindly" can miss the joint space.
Dr. Lopez has had great success using this FDA approved treatment option, with the majority of patients getting 6-12 months of pain relief and improved mobility of the joint. What's even more exciting is that it is a natural substance that is normally found in synovial fluid, and can be repeated every 6-12 months. Also, if used early in a patient's treatment plan for osteoarthritis, there is preliminary clinical evidence to suggest that the viscosupplementation combined with specialized rehabilitation may provide what is referred to as "Chondroprotection" (Chondro = cartilage) and may preserve healthy cartilage when utilized over a longer period of time.
PRP – Platelet-Rich Plasma
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma is known as the component of an individual's blood which is highly concentrated in platelets. Platelets are known to contain a myriad of growth factors, which have been shown to turn on and stimulate many cellular processes responsible for tissue repair and healing. PRP is a prime example of the direction that musculoskeletal and other areas of medicine are heading into. This is the era of regenerative medical technology. The concept is remarkably simple. In essence, we are trying to harness the human body's remarkable ability to heal itself, in an effort to accelerate healing of an injured tendon, ligament, or various orthopedic structures.
How Long Does PRP Therapy Take?
PRP is an office procedure, which typical takes less than an hour of office time, while minimizing post-procedure downtime. Most patients may resume normal activities within one to two days, and then follow a graduated functional exercise program to maximize the benefits of this procedure.
Why Choose PRP Therapy with Dr. Lopez?
PRP is yet another tool which must be utilized judiciously for the appropriate patient and the appropriate condition. In addition, many physicians who have been utilizing PRP have empirically determined that utilizing ultrasound image guidance is a key component to optimizing clinical results from PRP injection therapy. Dr. Lopez has utilized PRP to treat various conditions in high-level and recreational athletes, as well as everyday individuals for various musculoskeletal injuries. He utilizes a specific protocol, which takes advantage of his wholly integrated spine and sports medicine offices to offer a coordinated medical, physical therapy, chiropractic, nutritional, and metabolic services. Click here to learn more about who can benefit from PRP injections.
Prolotherapy /Regenerative-Restorative Injection Therapy
What Conditions Can Prolotherapy/RIT Therapy Treat?
- Shoulder pain (tendonitis, rotator cuff injuries, instability, arthritis)
- Elbow pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Foot/Ankle Pain
Who Can Benefit from Prolotherapy/RIT Therapy?
Dr. Lopez utilizes this tool in an effort to accelerate connective tissue remodeling. Prolotherapy/RIT has been utilized in the U.S. for over 50 years to treat various connective tissue, ligament, tendon, and joint injuries. The rationale is to use a safe, yet irritating substance which has the capacity to reintroduce the normal tissue healing cascade. Oftentimes, after an injury, the ligamentous and tendinous connective tissue structures which surround a joint undergo structural damage, without the low benefit of a complete inflammatory, proliferative, and remodeling tissue repair cycle. When this occurs, a joint or body part remains "in a calyx essentially stuck in a state of suspended animation" whereby the tissue's structural integrity remains unrepaired and incompletely healed. As with most tools in medicine, the effectiveness of this treatment is highly dependent on selecting the appropriate patient, with the appropriate conditions, and a physician with the appropriate skill set to perform it safely and effectively. Additionally, Dr. Lopez helps to maximize patient results by utilizing key nutritional and exercise strategies to promote and accelerate connective tissue restoration and repair.
Why Choose Prolotherapy with Dr. Lopez?
While many patients have had injections with temporary or disappointing results, they are rarely performed as part of an integrated, uniquely-designed and customized program that Dr. Lopez orchestrates with his multi-disciplinary team of partners and providers. Dr. Lopez is known for combining advances in exercise and nutritional science, breakthroughs in injection techniques, and cutting-edge methods in physical therapy, chiropractic and rehabilitation medicine. Click here to learn more about How Prolotherapy/Regenerative-Restorative Injection Therapy plus Nutritional Strategies Can Improve Recovery.