3 Innovations In Orthopedic Treatment And Surgery

Orthopedic conditions like torn rotator cuffs, osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, or weak hips can really diminish your quality of life. It's not just the pain that comes along with these conditions that's problematic, it's also the fact that they can severely limit your mobility, preventing you from doing even ordinary tasks of daily life, like shopping, driving, and housework. They can also lead to health conditions caused by sedentary lifestyles. Surgery has long been the course of last resort in dealing with these types of conditions, but surgery comes with its own drawbacks, and isn't always an effective form of treatment. Take a look at some new orthopedic treatments and surgical techniques that can result in less risk, less pain, and greater success for patients dealing with orthopedic problems.

Blood Injections

It turns out that your own blood may be able to heal your torn rotator cuff or treat your arthritis. The treatment is called Platelet Rich Plasma (P.R.P. for short) and it involves first removing blood from your own body and spinning it in a centrifuge. The spinning process moves additional blood cells, known as platelets, to the plasma portion of your blood, which is then re-injected into the injured area.

The practice started out as a way for dental surgeons to treat injured facial bones, which are located in areas that have a smaller number of platelets than other parts of the body. Dentists theorized that adding more platelets would speed healing and recovery, and it did. The procedure is not without controversy, and doctors are still trying to understand exactly how it works. But it's clear that, at least for some patients, P.R.P. might be a viable alternative to surgery, or may be able to be used in conjunction with surgery to speed the recovery process and reduce pain.

Shock Wave Therapy

Another type of orthopedic treatment that's gaining in popularity is shock wave therapy, which is sometimes used to treat conditions like plantar fasciitis. This procedure involves applying focused shock waves to the injured part of the body. There are two types of shock wave therapy, one using low energy shock waves and one using high energy shock waves.

If you have the low energy shock wave therapy, you can expect to return for several sessions before you see any results. Low energy shock waves are minimally painful, but take longer to produce results. High energy shock waves, on the other hand, are painful enough to require an anesthetic of some kind. Therapy using high energy shock waves is typically over and done with in one session. It's thought that shock waves work to treat orthopedic conditions by causing small traumas to the injured area. While that may sound counterproductive, these small injuries trigger the body's own healing response, and once the body's healing resources are in force in that area, they can heal both the minor trauma and the original source of the problem. Essentially, shock wave therapy tricks your body into healing itself.

Anterior Hip Replacement

If you need a hip replacement, surgery is unavoidable. Hip replacement surgery is one of the most complex and painful orthopedic surgeries that you may have to consider at some point. A new surgical method that's gaining in popularity is now making hip replacement surgery less painful, recovery time shorter, and improving the outcomes for patients.

The new technique is called the anterior approach, as opposed to the typical posterior approach. The anterior approach allows for X-rays to be taken during surgery, which can improve the ability of surgeons to ensure that the new hip is correctly align. It also gives the patient more mobility almost immediately. Where patients operated on with the posterior procedure can't move or roll over immediately after the surgery, for fear of dislocating the new hip, patients who received the anterior procedure can actually begin physical therapy right away, decreasing their pain and improving their long term chances for a good outcome.

Only you and your doctor can decide if one of these innovative procedures is right for your condition. If your doctor is recommending surgery, ask an orthopedic doctor or surgeon if P.R.P., shock wave therapy, or an anterior hip replacement is right for your condition. You can find an orthopedic surgeon by visiting a site like http://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com.