Common Sports Injuries

Sports-related injuries happen every day and at any age. Typical injuries include: ankle sprains, tennis/golfer’s elbow and rotator cuff tears. With so many options out there, how do you choose the right treatment? Surgery is an option, but there is an alternative, a nonsurgical approach using the patient’s own platelets or stem cells to help heal the injury naturally.

First up, ankle sprains.
Ankle sprains are commonly seen in basketball, football and volleyball players, but also can happen just stepping off a curb. When we sprain our ankles, we typically roll our foot to the inside stretching the ligaments and tendons that support the outside of the ankle and foot. Sprains weaken the stability of the joint. Treatment for chronic ankle sprains is prolotherapy. What is prolotherapy? It is a precise injection, under guidance, of a mild irritant solution (we typically use dextrose or sugar water) directly on the site of the torn or stretched ligament. Prolotherapy creates mild irritation that stimulates the body’s natural healing to lay down new tissue on the weakened area. The ankle tendons and ligaments become stronger and stronger with each prolotherapy session. Typically prolotherapy takes 1-3 sessions to see improvement.

Next, tennis/golfers elbow.
This usually occurs with repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The elbow becomes quite painful and is inflamed. As the name of the injury implies, it is commonly seen in tennis players and golfers, but also in rowing/crew and even with certain occupations such as painters and carpenters. The elbow becomes quite painful and is inflamed. Treatment typically includes an injection of super concentrated platelets (SCP). The super concentrated platelets contain healing growth components that increase the body’s natural ability to repair itself. This involves drawing the patient’s blood, processing it and reinjection the patient’s own platelets to the painful area. The lateral epicondyle (or the outside of the elbow) is visualized on the ultrasound screen. The platelets are injected directly onto the epicondyle and the healing process begins.

Lastly, rotator cuff tears.
This shoulder injury can commonly occur in baseball pitchers or weightlifters, but also can occur from a fall or from gradual degeneration/aging. The best treatment for rotator cuff tears is stem cell treatment. The patient’s own stem cells or “natural repair cells” are used to promote healing. This process is 3 steps, involving three separate visits to our office. Yes, the treatment includes 3 different days of treatment, but does NOT involve a hospital stay, incisions or stiches! First, the joint, tendon and ligaments are treated with prolotherapy. Yes, the same prolotherapy that was reviewed in the ankle sprain section! The area is primed with the prolotherapy irritating the surface of the areas to be treated creating a sticky matrix to which the stem cells will be attracted. Next, is the stem cell day, Day 2. Stem cells are unique in the fact that they become what we need them to be depending on where they are placed. So for example, the rotator cuff is torn and is in need of ligamentous fibers. Stem cells are harvested from an area known to be rich in the stem cells, the iliac crest, or the upper portion of the hip. Then, the cells are processed and concentrated in the lab. Then, they are injected under x-ray guidance to the exact area of the tear. The third day involves super concentrated platelets (just as reviewed in the tennis/golfer’s elbow section). We draw your blood, isolating the platelets. Under ultrasound guidance, these platelets are injected into the shoulder. The platelets serve as a fertilizer for the stem cells to promote growth and healing.

Before you consider surgery for your sports-related injury, take a look at this nonsurgical treatment option that uses the body’s natural healing properties to combat the injury. No surgery involved, no knives and no hospital stays! All treatments are performed by visualizing the problem area under ultrasound or fluoroscopy/x-ray. By seeing the tear, joint or ligament on the screen the needle can precisely treat the exact spot(s) that needs attention. Learn more about this alternative by calling us today at 412-963-6480 or joining us at one of our upcoming seminars!

– Sarah Rowling, PA-C

About The Author
tnardozza

tnardozza

tnardozza

tnardozza

Related Posts

Bone-on-Bone Pain and Maintaining your Knees

What is Bone-on-bone pain? Loss of cartilage can result in Bone-on-bone pain or osteoarthritis. This is the most common form of arthritis, and approximately 46% of people will develop it in their lives. Regenexx PRP or Bone Marrow Concentrate has been found to decrease symptoms and increase function in patients that suffer from bone on bone arthritis.

Read More »

Step-By-Step PRP Procedure for a Meniscus Tear

Why would you want to use PRP for your shoulder pain? A Peer-Reviewed Randomized Controlled Trial shows PRP has better long term effectiveness than Corticosteroids for shoulder pain. Investigate Regenexx Pittsburgh’s PRP procedures.

Read More »

Follow Us

Recent Posts

Are You a Regenexx Candidate?

About Regenexx Pittsburgh COVID-19 Protection Zone

At Regenexx Pittsburgh, we are foremost committed to the health and safety of our patients. Our team adheres strictly to COVID-19 protection protocols and ALL staff wear masks and are COVID-19 vaccinated.

Advanced IOF Certifications

Certified at the highest level for Ankle / Foot, Wrist / Hand, Hip, Knee, Shoulder, and Spine Intradiscal

Specialized Certifications

Top available certifications in Diagnostic Ultrasound, Bone Marrow and Adipose Aspirate, and Nucleated Cell Counting

Educational Certifications

Our doctors have earned both General Instructor as well as Spine Instructor certifications.

Download Our Free Non-Surgical Regenerative Orthopedics Ebook

Knee

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Knee Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Patellofemoral
  • Syndrome/Chondomalacia
  • ACL Tears + PCL, LCL & MCL Tears & Sprains
  • Patellar Tendonitis
  • Pes anersine bursitis
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Instability
  • Hamstrings Tendinopathy & Biceps Femoris Insertional Tendinopathy

Lower Spine

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Spine Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Lumbar Facet Injury
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Herniated or Bulging Disc
  • Radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Many More Disc and Low Back Issues

Foot & Ankle

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Foot & Ankle Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Ankle Instability
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Peroneal tendon tear or split
  • Ligament sprain or tear
  • Sub-talar arthritis or instability
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Bunions

Cervical Spine

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Spine Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Cervical Instability
  • Cervical Facet Injury
  • Neck, Back or Rib Instability
  • Many More Disc and Cervical Issues Causing Pain

Hip

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Hip Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinopathy
  • Labral / Labrum Tear

Shoulder

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Shoulder Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Arthritis of the shoulder joint
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Labral tears or degeneration
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis & tendonosis
  • AC Joint Separation
  • Recurrent shoulder dislocations

Elbow

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Elbow Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Instability
  • Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow
  • Nerve entrapment (ulnar nerve)

Hand & Wrist

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Hand & Wrist Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Hand Arthritis
  • Basal Joint Arthritis or CMC / Carpometacarpal
  • Arthritis
  • Instability
  • TFCC Tear
  • Carpal Tunnel SyndromeTrigger Finger