When patients ask me if they should have surgery or not a few things go through my mind. I look at their condition and what it will look like months from now if they decide not to; i.e. is this something that will get better on its own with time or rehab? I also consider how incapacitated they are by their condition. What a lot of people don’t realize is surgery itself is an insult that will require recovering from. Anytime you make an incision or insert a probe into the body there is a recovery process, just like if you stepped on a nail. Now consider sutures, excisions, etc. Even if you had a 0/10 pain and nothing wrong with you, you would have pain post surgery.
With this in mind if you can avoid surgery and still have an optimal outcome it is worth doing so. Regenerative medicine is looking into making this more of a possibility for people with an array of diagnosis. In my own life I’ve had a propensity for developing tendinitis and tendonosis. As many know these are very nagging and can take a long time to go away. There also aren’t many successful surgical options for tendonopathies. PRP and stem cell injections can help the tendon to heal and regenerate in a quicker time frame. They can also help when the body is caught in a pain cycle and unable to regulate the inflammatory process efficiently anymore.
After competing in gymnastics for 18 years, track and field for 5, and CrossFit for 7, I have quite a few of these little nagging things. The problem with them is they can lead to more problems from the compensations they cause. I’ve done plenty of rehab as a physical therapist and still some issues don’t want to clear up on their own. This is where PRP and stem cells are so helpful. When you’ve done all the right things on your own, you don’t want or don’t need surgery, but you want to get back to doing the things you love.
I was amazed working with Dr. Chappell just how skilled he is with ultrasound diagnostics and how much you can see. We were able at one point to visualize in my knee the small ligament that attaches your meniscus to the bone (the arcuate ligament). I do not even remember learning about this ligament in school and have never seen them mentioned on an MRI before, so I was surprised when he said mine was torn. After having him inject PRP into the exact space he said was torn the shifting feeling in my knee went away. I’m sure many of these go undiagnosed, since they just are recognized or looked for by other practitioners. This impressed me so much that I have continued to go back to Dr. Chappell anytime I have an issue.