Frequently Asked Questions – Musculoskeletal Treatments
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Why choose RestorePDX to improve and optimize your health?
RestorePDX works with you to get your health back where you want it. We start with a thorough, accurate diagnosis. We integrate a range of healthcare disciplines – allopathic, osteopathic and naturopathic – into a comprehensive approach to your treatment.
Since a healthy body heals faster, we collaborate with you to determine healthy lifestyle choices that fit your needs and goals. We expect that you will fully participate in your body’s healing and strengthening process.
We use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to determine both the exact nature of your symptoms and the root cause. Our multidisciplinary team will work out your most effective treatment path.
Our practitioners bring deep experience and their wide range of perspectives, curiosity and knowledge to improve your whole body’s health.
What’s my role? What can I do to accelerate my healing?
Our regenerative medicine will set you up to heal. We do everything we can to maximize your body’s healing power. We will do our part; however, YOU are the critical factor.
We help you to understand your role in helping your body heal. We guide you through the activity, diet, sleep and ‘life balance’ adjustments that may be needed. We expect you to commit to implementing recommended changes as part of your recovery. Change is not always easy, so we have staff members and/or partnering providers, coaches, and nutritionists who are ready to support you.
What is PRP?
PRP is platelet-rich plasma. Platelets are a form of white blood cells; they are containers of growth factors. Growth factors facilitate cellular growth, proliferation, healing, and differentiation. A growth factor is typically a protein or steroid hormone. Growth factors are important for regulating a variety of cellular processes. In this case, the growth factors are natural ingredients that promote healing. They work as biologic glue, and they help build new blood vessels into the injured area.
To create regenerative PRP, your own blood is spun in a centrifuge to concentrate your platelets 5 to 10 times the ratio that would be found in your bloodstream. Injecting platelets directly into injured tissue (rather than waiting for cells to move in on their own) accelerates healing: cartilage, tendons and ligaments don’t have a good blood supply of their own, so they do not mount their own healing response as effectively.
What is Cellular Therapy?
Certain cells in your body, known as stem cells, perform as a sort-of “transformer” cell: they carry the ability to transform themselves into the specific cell type needed for regenerating damaged tissue. Multipotent stem cells are the primary cells used in musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. These cells can differentiate into cartilage, ligament or disc material. We isolate them from your own bone marrow or fat cells.
How do you decide whether to use Stem Cells or PRP?
There is a difference: PRP aids healing, and stem cells cause healing. If the harvesting effort was the same and the cost was no different, we would always use stem cells. We often start with PRP because it is much less invasive, complex and expensive than harvesting and preparing stem cells. Where patients have more severe disease, meniscal tears, tissue or labrum or disc injuries, stem cells work as seeds, and often produce better results. Because of this more challenging process, cellular treatments cost more than PRP.
How is RestorePDX different from other clinics offering PRP?
Unlike most pain-treatment clinics, we are deeply committed to building a precise diagnosis before we decide on a treatment path. RestorePDX is the only clinic with a full staff of multidisciplinary providers who embrace the philosophy of whole-body health: the healthier you are, the faster you will heal.
RestorePDX was founded by a radiologist who has learned how to identify pain in medical imaging. Without that specific radiology expertise, other clinics may miss the complexity of what’s causing your pain; it’s often not where you feel it. With our expertise in radiology, we can identify contributing factors – and be sure we are treating the cause(s). We want to solve your whole problem.
RestorePDX practitioners are trained and equipped to harvest stem cells aspirated from the patient’s own bone marrow and fat tissue. Few other clinics can do that.
RestorePDX approaches spine diagnostics with advanced imaging, deep experience in radiology, and a solid history of providing successful treatment. The spine is far more complex than a knee or hip. Detailed MRI, ultrasound and x-ray diagnostics allow us to identify hidden causes and guide our treatment, improving the prospects for resolving your pain. To build our range of treatment options, we are continuously learning from universities and clinical sources around the world. We do careful follow-up evaluations with MRI, ultrasound and functional evaluations after your pain has subsided to learn more about how our treatments are working for you.
And, unlike other clinics, RestorePDX has an experienced sedation nurse on staff to address any discomfort associated with the treatment.
Where in the process does it hurt, and for how long?
Our staff sedation nurse takes the necessary steps to mitigate pain with local anesthetic and anything else that’s needed. We provide personalized instructions (and prescriptions, if needed) for you to mitigate your own pain for the first 1-2 days to several weeks, depending on the procedure. This is rarely needed longer than 2 weeks.
Regenerative injections trigger your healing response, which starts with inflammation. After injections, many people feel an increase in their pain that typically lasts from 2 days to 2 weeks. Some people have prolonged inflammatory phases, up to 6 weeks. As this first phase inflammation subsides, so does the pain. In the second healing phase, the tissue proliferates: the body assembles “scaffolding”, which takes from days to months. The third phase of healing is maturation: with the scaffolding in place, the tissue fills in, which may take from weeks to years.
What is the rate of success?
The definition of “success” varies. For some patients, a significant pain reduction is a success, and sometimes a completely regenerated joint is the success. With this in mind, our patients consider over 70 percent of our treatments to be successful.
The patient’s overall health is one of the main factors. If you are generally healthy, if your blood sugar is under control, and you have a normal BMI, your chances are at their best. Of course, the severity of your injury is a factor too. Age is less of an issue; patients of all ages can benefit. Our biggest concerns – the red flags – come up when a patient is diabetic, a smoker, overweight, or if they have problems with multiple joints and back pain. How long you’ve had restricted range of motion is also a factor.
Healthy patients may see pain reduction or full restoration of the joint.