Dr. Ferrie offers a range of three specific and safe treatment options that don’t involve any synthetic or harmful chemicals: PROLOTHERAPY, PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP) and ORTHOKINE THERAPY.
The clinical applications and indications for each of these treatments vary and are case dependent as are the costs involved. Once you have been thoroughly assessed and diagnosed (including diagnostic imaging such as x-rays or ultrasound) your Podiatrist will provide detailed information and advice regarding the therapy that best suits your condition.
Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection treatment used to repair incomplete healing of the ligament and tendon and is considered a viable alternative to surgery. It is an alternative option to synthetic pain medications and anti-inflammatory injections such as cortisone and other steroidal injections in instances of joint instability and osteoarthritis. Prolotherapy is considered a safe, affordable injection treatment option that allows the patient to keep working and/or training during treatment. It provides increased strength in joints, ligaments and tendons by making new connective tissue. This technique requires a series of injections (2-6 weekly or monthly) of a solution combining local anaesthetic with concentrated sugar injected at the site of the pain.
PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP)
PRP is an advanced form of prolotherapy using Platelet-Rich Plasma instead of anaesthetic and glucose. It is fast growing, relatively recent technique for soft tissue injuries including tendon, muscle and ligaments. It is also showing good results for mild to moderate osteoarthritis.
While this approach has been used overseas for many years, it is fairly new to Australia in the treatment of musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions such as joint pain, osteoarthritis of the foot, ankle and knee as well as ligament, fascia and soft tissue injury. Some tissues in the body have a poor blood supply or respond poorly to excessive load and ultimately fail to heal naturally.
PRP therapy utilises the healing properties in blood to allow a healing reaction to occur in a tissue that is not healing on its own. Our blood has small granules called “platelets” and these contain special growth factors that when released, allow stem cells in the particular tissue to switch on and then cause new tissue to be synthesized and heal the injured area.
The PRP treatment process involves obtaining Platelet-Rich Plasma from the patient’s own blood. These platelets are separated, then concentrated and finally reinjected into the injured area. The number and frequency of injections can vary and are case dependent.
An example can be an achilles tendinopathy. If the achilles is painful, thickened and not responding to rehabilitation, then the physician will inject the PRP into the achilles and this will cause the tendon cells (tenocytes/fibroblasts) to synthesise new achilles collagen to strengthen the achilles. White blood cells also enter the area to mop up any achilles tissue that may have been damaged due to the ongoing pain and thickening in the area. There is convincing research to support the efficacy and safety of PRP therapies and at TFAAC we maximise the results and accuracy of this treatment by providing PRP injections under Ultrasound Guidance.
For your safety TFAAC performs all harvesting in a Class II biosafety cabinet and laboratory using the latest equipment.
Orthokine Therapy is a form of injection therapy that harnesses and enhances the bodies natural defence mechanisms against inflammation to reduce pain and improve function. The process involves taking the patients blood and preparing the blood so that the anti-inflammatory proteins and growth factors (the serum of the blood) can be injected into either joints OR tendons and other soft tissues. This leads to a decrease in pain and promotes natural healing.
Orthokine Therapy seems to be most effective in treating Osteoarthritis. The therapy primarily focuses on a protein called “Interleukin 1 (IL-1).” IL-1 plays a role in the mediation of inflammation by binding to certain “cytokine” receptors. By binding to these receptors, the IL1 causes the “switching on” of the chronic inflammatory process. Then once this process occurs, pain comes with it and all the chemicals involved in the inflammatory process can lead to further destruction of the joint. In soft tissues it causes an increase in scar tissue formation.
Orthokine Therapy releases an IL-1 antagonist, which blocks this IL-1 from binding and this restricts the inflammatory process from occurring. At the same time, it also releases growth factors into the area to minimise the destruction of the local tissues (eg. the joint cartilage) and actually attempts to heal and repair these tissues.
There have been a number of research papers which are of good quality that support the use of Orthokine Therapy. There has been a lot of media interest in Orthokine Therapy as players in the NBA, such as Kobe Bryant, and AFL players ,including Nick Riewoldt, have used this therapy with amazing success, when all other therapies have failed to work.
At TFAAC we maximise the results and accuracy of this treatment by providing PRP and Orthokine injections under Ultrasound Guidance. The frequency of injections can vary and are case dependent.
Please contact Dr James Ferrie using the contact form below for any further information you may require: