What Is the Role of PRP in Sacroiliitis?

Are you struggling with lower back pain? Do you deal with constant sciatic nerve pain? Does climbing stairs make your back hurt?

You’re not alone. You might be among the 40% of Americans who will suffer from this pain at some point in their lives.

Luckily, there’s a solution. It comes in the form of PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, injections.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Sacroiliitis and PRP.

What Is Sacroiliitis?

First of all, let’s define Sacroiliitis. Sacroiliitis is the inflammation of both or one of the sacroiliac joints. These joints are situated in the spot where your pelvis connects to your lower spine– your lower back.

These joints are vertical and about 6 or 7 inches long. They’re held together by ligaments that contain tons of nerve receptors.

Since the sacrum is often subject to lots of stress as you go through your daily motions, the sacroiliac joints can become inflamed. This is what leads to Sacroiliitis. The many nerve receptors in the surrounding ligaments are responsible for the pangs of back pain that you may feel.

Sacroiliitis can cause pain in your back, buttocks, and can even extend all the way down your legs. It can also be hard to diagnose. Back pain is finicky, and the pain symptom is really the only telling symptom for sacroiliitis diagnosis.

Oftentimes, patients will come back with normal EMG studies, MRI scans, and lumbar spine scans. Yet they’ll still experience pain. Your doctor needs to be looking for Sacroiliitis to find it.

This is why it often takes time to diagnose. Usually, it’s a last resort diagnosis, after other scans have come back normal.

If your lower back pain gets worse when you climb stairs, stand for a prolonged period of time, or go for a run, you may have Sacroiliitis.

How Is It Caused?

There are five potential causes of sacroiliitis.

Traumatic injury is the first. This includes injuring your sacroiliac joints while lifting heavy items. It also includes injury from falling or getting into a car or bike accident.

A biomechanical injury is the second. This includes sacroiliac joint dysfunction manifesting from a previous lumbar infusion, or a discrepancy in leg length.

Hormonal imbalances or changes are the third. This includes hormonal changes due to medication, or natural hormonal changes due to pregnancy or childbirth.

Inflammation is the fourth. This is when your tissues become swollen, red, and painful.

The fifth is normal age-related degeneration, usually brought on by normal wear and tear over the years.

How Is It Diagnosed?

To diagnose sacroiliitis, you’ll need to first schedule doctor’s appointment. They’ll probably press on points of your lower back, including your buttocks, to try to put a finger on the location of the pain. Your doctor may order x-rays or an MRI of your back and sacroiliac joints to show if your sacroiliac joint is injured and to make sure the low back is not the cause of the pain. Another method your doctor will confirm the diagnose Sacroiliitis is anesthetic injections. This involves your doctor injecting the affected area with a numbing injection. If the pain stops, it’s likely that your sacroiliac joint is the problem.
The one caveat with this method of diagnosis is The anesthetic injection can leak into a surrounding area, making it unclear whether or not your sacroiliac joint is really the problem.

What Can You Do?

Physical therapy is an option. It’ll include plenty of strengthening and stretching exercises. If physical therapy doesn’t alleviate your symptoms, you might be a candidate for PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, injections.

How Does It Work?

Spinal injections are an effective pain management tool. PRP injections work to aid your boby in its natural healing process.

Platelets begin repairing your tissue by releasing growth factors. Growth factors are a substance, such as a hormone or a vitamin, that’s necessary to stimulate the growth of living cells.

The growth factors initiate the process of healing by attracting reparative cells, especially critical stem cells. Without PRP injections, your body would have far fewer platelets, meaning a slower healing time.

Once the platelets have been injected into your bloodstream, a sample of your blood will be taken and put into a centrifuge. The centrifuge will then separate the added platelets from the rest of your blood. Then, that concentration of PRP is re-injected into your body, specifically into your lower back.

Now, your lower back has tons of tools to begin healing– all naturally. After the injection, it takes around six weeks for your body to reduce inflammation and rebuild tissue within your sacroiliac joints. After six weeks, you’ll feel good as new.

When PRP Injections Aren’t Enough

You might get the PRP injections and find that your Sacroiliitis is just too far gone. While PRP injections are certainly effective for pain management, they can’t reverse degeneration or injury.

If this sounds like you, you might be a candidate for spinal surgery. If so, you should opt for a minimally invasive one.

Why? Because traditional surgery requires a very large incision. That means extensive tissue damage, and a subsequent long time recovering.

Why go the traditional route when a minimally invasive option is available?

Today, the minimally invasive procedure is as simple as placing three titanium implants on your sacroiliac joint. These implants will fuse and therefore stabilize the connection between the joints, your spine, and your pelvis.

It only takes around an hour, and you might even be discharged to go home the same day. That’s far preferable to weeks recovering in the hospital.

Are You a Candidate?

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, you could be struggling with Sacroiliitis and not know it yet. Oftentimes, sciatic nerve pain can go untreated for too long, and improperly diagnosed once you find the time to visit the doctor.

Don’t let this be you. If you’re in Hackettstown, Cedar Knolls, or Whiting, New Jersey, get in touch. We would love to get you on the road to recovery.

minimally invasive spine surgery

Are You a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Every year, 460,000 patients undergo spinal fusion surgery. That’s a lot of people! Plus, this statistic doesn’t even cover all the different kinds of spinal surgery.

So, if you’re one of the many thousands of people considering back surgery, we suggest doing your research. You should always investigate the possibility of minimally invasive spine surgery.

In light of this, we thought we’d help you out by detailing the crux of what you need to know about this procedure.

Let’s dive on in.

What’s Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Traditional open spinal surgery requires the surgeon to make at least a five-inch incision. Then, any muscle’s pulled away so the surgeon/(s) can get to the spinal bones. Naturally, this causes damage to any surrounding tissue.

In contrast to this, there are several minimally invasive techniques a surgeon could use.

Rest assured, all these methods have one thing in common. Each technique requires the doctor to use a smaller incision. (In comparison to open spinal surgery).

Hence, far less tissue damage occurs.

Let’s Break This Procedure Down

Here’s a simplified overview of what this procedure entails.

Firstly, the surgeon will numb the area by using some form of anesthesia. Next, the doctor will take a continual x-ray of the spine. This allows them to monitor the spine’s condition both before and during the procedure.

Then, the surgeon will make an incision via a device named an obturator. This tool works by pushing the soft tissue away.

The surgeon can then do whatever spinal operation is necessary via this small incision. For example, removing a broken bone, inserting a medical device, repairing damaged tissue, etc. Once the procedure’s over, the surgeon removes the obturator and closes up the incision.

Evidently, this operation is far less traumatic in comparison to traditional spinal surgery.

Typically, this surgery is appropriate for procedures like lumbar decompression and spinal fusion. Spinal decompression aims to relieve any pressure put on the spinal nerves. The surgeon achieves this by removing either sections of bone or a herniated disk.

Spinal fusion focuses on correcting problems concerning the spinal vertebrae. The surgeon will fuse together any painful vertebrae with the intention of these bones healing to form one singular solid bone.

Why You Should Opt for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

As the title of the procedure suggests, this operation’s far less invasive than traditional open-style spinal surgery.

Therefore you could benefit from any of the following:

  • Less tissue damage (hence not as much bruising, swelling)
  • Not as much blood loss
  • You won’t need as much anesthesia.
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Less scarring

Clearly, this procedure trumps open-style spinal surgery on a lot of levels. So, if you can opt for this method- we recommend doing so.

Are You a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

So are you wondering whether you might be a potential candidate for this kind of surgery?

If you’re unsure, then we’ve put together a few questions to help you figure out whether this might be an option for you.

If you find yourself nodding to any of the below questions, minimally invasive spine surgery may well be the solution for you:

  • Do you suffer from any of the following? Spinal stenosis, a bulging or herniated disc, sciatica or any other chronic spinal condition.
  • Do you find it difficult to: sleep, exercise or stand for either long periods of time, or just as you go about your daily life?
  • Even though you’ve tried treatments such as: chiropractic care, physiotherapy, yoga, pilates or pain medication. Are you still in a lot of pain?
  • Have you noticed that even though you’ve had open spine surgery, you’re still in a lot of pain?

If any of those questions resonated with your situation, you may well be a candidate for this procedure!

However, although this operation has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years, specific conditions still require traditional open spinal surgery. For example, high-degree scoliosis, tumors, and some infections.

How Long Does It Take to Recover?

Depending on the severity of your surgery, you’ll typically be discharged the same day.

Also, patients tend to get back to their normal lives in between one and six weeks. This may mean you’ll need to seek assistance from a friend or family member during the immediate aftermath of your surgery.

Be prepared to feel mild discomfort until you’ve made a complete recovery.

Hence, why you’ll probably need to take pain relief drugs in addition to attending physiotherapy sessions. This is standard aftercare for this kind of procedure.

What Are the Risks?

As you probably already know, every surgery involves a degree of risk.

However, the risks linked with minimally invasive spine surgery is a great deal less than any open spinal surgery.

However here’s a list of some of the risks associated with this operation:

  • Standard risks of infection (As with any surgery).
  • Unpredicted bleeding
  • Blood clotting
  • Anaesthesia failure
  • Nerve damage

However, you can minimize all of these risks by ensuring you opt for a skilled doctor with an excellent track record.

So, make sure you spend some time conducting a bit of research and find a highly qualified and reputable surgeon. Also, you can reduce some of these risks by listening and fully taking on board all the aftercare instructions given by your doctor.

We always recommend following their advice to the letter.

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