In January 2019, nine-year-old Sara was diagnosed with a plantar plate avulsion injury with sesamoiditis, an inflammation of the tendons surrounding the sesamoid bones in the ball of the foot.
Sara had surgery to remove her sesamoid bone in March 2020, which seemed to provide some pain relief at first. She was advised to increase her physical activity and “push through the pain,” but when she started to train in interval running, intense pain returned. Within days, she was no longer able to bear weight on her foot again.
For nearly a year, Sara tried numerous therapies to try to alleviate her pain — custom-made orthotics, steroid injections, multiple casts, walking boots, physical therapy, water therapy, ultrasound therapy, chiropractic therapy, sensory desensitization therapy — but none was effective. After introducing high-impact activities, Sara could not bear any weight on the ball of her foot and had to walk putting pressure on her heel or the side of her foot. She was very limited in how much walking she could do and would often resort to crawling to get around the house. She was experiencing pain throughout the day, even while resting.
Orthopedic specialists told Sara and her family that they didn’t feel anything more could be done for her. Several specialists recommended inpatient pediatric pain treatment.
A Turning Point for Sara: PRP Therapy
In February 2021, Sara’s mother took her to their primary care doctor, desperate for guidance. The doctor referred them to RestorePDX, where Sara began platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy in May.
“Words can not begin to express how grateful we are that he made this referral,” said Sara’s mother. “We saw tremendous improvement. Within four months, she was back in a regular shoe, bearing weight, and fully participating in daily activities. She still has brief moments of episodic bouts of pain, but it is not as intense and subsides relatively quickly.”
In PRP therapy, a physician draws a patient’s blood, processes it, and then reinjects the end product —platelet-rich plasma — to the injury site under ultrasound or fluoroscopic imaging guidance. This process creates a serum with an extremely high concentration of platelets and aims to use the healing properties of these cells to support tissue regeneration. Platelets, which assist in the clotting process that the body uses to slow and stop bleeding, also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors that promote healing and fight inflammation.
PRP therapy can reduce pain and inflammation and accelerate healing without the need for major surgical intervention. Because it is minimally invasive and performed under local anesthesia, it results in little to no scarring and has a dramatically reduced risk profile for serious complications. Regenexx SCP is a super-concentrated version of platelet-rich plasma therapy, which increases its ability to stimulate the body’s natural healing response. Regenexx SCP procedures are performed with high-level imaging guidance to ensure the most accurate placements of cells in the area of injury.
For Sara, Regenexx SCP has been life-changing.
“Sara can now join friends in play and social gatherings and go on hikes again with her family,” said her mother. “One of the hardest parts of being a parent is watching your child go through something really tough and not being able to fix it for them. It was also frustrating to feel like everyone in the medical community had given up on being able to help her. Words cannot begin to express the level of gratitude my husband and I have for Dr. Manning. He truly cares about Sara, and he takes time to listen and genuinely wants to help. I cannot thank him enough for giving my daughter her life back.”
Get in touch with RestorePDX to learn more about PRP therapy.