What is injection therapy?
Injection therapy—also known as regenerative injection treatment (RIT)—is a treatment designed to relieve pain in the body, including the ligaments, tendons, cartilage and joints. Conditions that are commonly treated with injection therapy can include:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Biceps tendinosis
- Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
- Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)
- Inflammation of the knee
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
When a part of the body is injured, it immediately triggers a healing process. This prompts the body to repair or remove damaged tissue with the goal of restoring healthy tissue. Injection therapy replicates this activity, encouraging healing by promoting the creation of new, healthy tissue with less inflammation.
Potential benefits of this treatment include:
- Increased function and movement
- Less pain (due to less inflammation)
- Serving as a different treatment option to surgery or prescription medication
What are the different types of injections?
At University Orthopaedic Associates (UOA), our specialists perform several different types of these injections to improve patient mobility and pain, including:
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is plasma with a concentrated amount of platelets taken from blood drawn from the arm. Platelets are a part of the body’s natural response to injury and contain a high level of bioactive proteins and growth factors that facilitate treatment of damaged or injured tissues. This treatment is attractive because it uses the patient’s own tissue to improve healing.
To create the injection, blood drawn from the body is placed in a centrifuge. As the blood is spinning, the platelets are separated into a distinct layer. These platelets are then added to a plasma solution and injected back into the patient. The platelets contain a number of growth factors that help the body repair itself.
Stem Cell Injections
Stem cell injection—also known as autologous stem cell injection (ASCI)—is another type of targeted biologic therapy. It uses adult stem cells taken from bone marrow in the pelvis that hone in on areas of inflammation or degeneration.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic acid injections are a different type of treatment aimed at treating joint pain, especially the knee. Instead of using a substance derived from the body to stimulate a healing response, this injection simulates and replaces the lubricating fluid (synovial fluid) that naturally occurs in the joint. It is also known as a rooster comb injection due to the fact that many hyaluronic acid formulas are created with cells extracted from the cartilage of rooster combs.
What should be expected with injection therapy?
During the procedure, the physician will first apply a local anesthetic at the injection site. Then, the injection is applied to the appropriate spot on the body and is sometimes performed with ultrasound-guiding technology.
After the appointment, patients may experience mild pain or soreness for a few days. Ice and heat therapy, as well as taking acetaminophen, can help alleviate symptoms. Patients may also be asked to avoid strenuous activity immediately after receiving an injection or while treatment is ongoing.
For more information on injection therapy or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact us today.