Headaches are an extremely common ailment that can be quite limiting. There are multiple different causes of headaches and several different types of headaches. There is a very specific type of headache that can be caused from the upper cervical spine (neck) that is frequently misdiagnosed as simply a tension headache or migraine headache. The […]

The Importance of Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal ultrasound is an emerging field in medicine. To become proficient at performing musculoskeletal ultrasound in both the diagnostic and therapeutic arenas takes years of practice. In using the ultrasound machine from a diagnostic standpoint, real-time evaluation of the injured region of the body can occur. Damage can typically be clearly outlined and monitored for improvement over time. In using the ultrasound machine from a therapeutic standpoint, a needle can be guided directly into a desired region so that the medication can be placed precisely over the desired location. I would urge anyone who is dealing with a musculoskeletal issue to consider diagnostic ultrasound evaluation with Spine & Joint Solutions of Colorado, prior to more costly MRI imaging for diagnosis of an injury. I would also encourage patients to seek out physicians who will utilize ultrasound as a guidance tool for injection therapy. If ultrasound guidance is not used, studies have shown that even large joint injections can be inaccurate, which significantly decreases the possibility for improvement from that injection.

At Spine & Joint Solutions, Dr. Rebekah Martin frequently uses ultrasound evaluation for joints and soft tissue to develop a more comprehensive diagnosis of an injured area. She also performs all in-office injections under ultrasound so that she can be as specific as possible with medication placement. It is also quite interesting to monitor progress and tissue healing over time, which can be seen clearly under ultrasound.

Ultrasound Accreditation

Spine & Joint Solutions of Colorado Springs would like to take this opportunity to announce a recent accreditation that we have been granted. After several months of effort, SJS has been awarded full accreditation for both Diagnostic and Therapeutic Musculoskeletal Ultrasound. The accreditation is through the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM). In order to be granted accreditation, demonstration of ultrasound skills and documentation of various diagnostic ultrasound studies and ultrasound-guided injections are required, which are stringently reviewed by AIUM reviewers before accreditation is granted. This accreditation allows Dr. Rebekah Martin to join an elite group of practitioners across the United States who are dedicated to improving the field of musculoskeletal medicine through ultrasound evaluation. Ultrasound evaluation allows for better visualization of internal structures so that a more accurate diagnosis can be made, as well as more accurate placement of a needle during injection therapy.

Joint replacement vs regenerative medicine

I recently reviewed an interesting article that presented a 54-year-old male with moderate-grade knee osteoarthritis who was healthy and active. The article argued the points for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) versus regenerative medicine therapy. An orthopedic surgeon was making the argument that TKA was a safe and successful surgery and that the patient should be able to return to a high level of functioning, such as golfing and skiing. He also mentions that the joint prosthesis should have a life of about 15 years. The physiatrist made several arguments, instead, for consideration of regenerative medicine therapy, including either platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or autologous stem cells. He states that the process of both blood aspiration (for PRP) and bone marrow aspiration (for stem cells) techniques are efficient and safe. The safety profile for regenerative medicine treatments, a single or limited number of injections, is also extremely preferred to the potential risks that are seen with TKA, such as infection, rejection, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus. Also extremely important is the cost of these two opposing options. The total cost of a TKA today is said to be around $52,000, and with many new insurance policies, a patient may be responsible for up to 20% of this value. Stem cell therapy provided in the office by SJS typically ranges from $1,800 to $3,000, depending on the product chosen, amount used and number of areas treated. This 54-year-old will require one to two prosthetic revisions due to his age and the average life of a knee prosthesis, and research does not show that individuals are typically able to return to a high level of activity following TKA. Most research suggests that patients return to activities of daily living after a TKA for the most part. In contrast to this, the goal of providing regenerative medicine therapy would be to not only return an individual to do her activities of daily living, but also to most extracurricular activities that would want to be pursued. Bottom Line: It is imperative that the general public be aware of regenerative medicine as a viable treatment option instead of more invasive measures. Any physician treating musculoskeletal and spine conditions needs to be educated, fair and honest with patients regarding their options.

skeleton body with pressure points in red

Treat Bursitis with Our Joint Pain Treatment and Injections

Bursitis, in any joint of the body, is never a pleasant experience. This condition occurs when the bursa – the fluid-filled sac between the bone, muscles, tendons, and skin – becomes inflamed or irritated due to repetitive motion or a sudden impact during exercise. At Spine and Joint Solutions in Colorado Springs, our joint pain treatment and injections are designed to effectively treat your bursitis and relieve the pain and swelling in your knee, elbow, or hip.

One injection that we perform to treat bursitis is a steroid injection, which can be placed into nearly any joint or bursa in the body. We use an ultrasound machine to guarantee precise placement and view the affected site while the injection is being performed. The injection is a mix of Lidocaine and a long-acting steroid, providing relief and healing where it’s needed most. There are some things to remember before receiving a bursa injection, such as stopping any blood-thinning medications like Ibuprofen and other NSAID pain relievers between three to seven days before your injection (depending on the medication).

If you’re experiencing discomfort in your knees, hips, or elbows, it could be a sign of bursitis, and our staff will gladly help diagnose it and provide guidance on what your next steps are. If it is bursitis, we will discuss the option of injections with you, as well as other joint pain treatment that could be helpful. Most of all, we want you to be comfortable and confident that your joint pain can be taken care of, and that you’re in capable hands with us.

needle in shoulder of skeleton

Effective PRP Therapy in Colorado Springs

Anyone that has participated in sports, either amateur or professional, can tell you that while they love the game, they don’t like the injuries that come along with it. It can be very frustrating when an injured muscle or pulled tendon that keeps you off the court or the field for an extended period of time. At Spine and Joint Solutions, our sports medicine expertise can help you heal faster, as well as better, letting you get back to the game you love. One effective method that we employ is platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy.

PRP therapy has been around for some time and essentially uses the body’s own resources – in this case the blood – to heal itself. The platelets found in your blood are separated in a centrifuge after a blood draw is taken, and since the platelets have a higher concentration of growth factors, they can help a muscle or tendon heal faster when injected into the proper spot. Platelet rich therapy has proven effective in treating those with Achilles tendon injuries, as well as those suffering from lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow.

Muscle injuries, whether major or minor, can be discouraging, especially when they keep you from playing the sports you love. At Spine and Joint Solutions, we want to help your body heal and we’ve found that PRP therapy is a powerful remedy to injury. Since it’s your own blood that’s used, there’s very little risk of reaction, and if the PRP treatments are paired with a physical therapy program, you’ll be back on the field in no time.

Spine Injections Can Be Effective Back Pain Treatment

We’ve spoken before about facet joint injections, and at Spine and Joint Solutions, we’re dedicated to finding the proper treatment for each patient that we see. A facet joint injection is just one of the spinal treatments that we offer, and it may work for some but not for others, and we never give up on finding effective back pain treatment for our patients in Colorado Springs. One such treatment is a sacroiliac joint injection, which focuses on the joint in the pelvic region.

The sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum to the pelvis, and since the sacrum and pelvis support the weight of the upper body, this joint allow for shifting and flexibility during movement. If the sacroiliac joint becomes inflamed or the connective tissue becomes damaged, a person could experience severe pain and discomfort in their hip and lower back area. With a focused injection performed under ultrasound guidance in our office, you can restore the joint’s functionality and no longer suffer pain. You can opt for conscious sedation during the injection, but please keep in mind that you will be awake and alert during the procedure so that we can communicate with you.

As with any treatment that we provide, we will discuss all of your options with you. A sacroiliac injection might be the perfect treatment for you, but it might need to be paired with another method to provide the most relief for your pain. No matter the circumstances, our goal is to provide our patients with the very best back pain treatment in Colorado Springs.

Run Without Pain with Sports Medicine in Colorado Springs

With a new season about to begin, you’re probably excited to get out and enjoy the warmer weather. If you run, bike, or climb, it can be very frustrating when pain slows you down. If you’re experiencing pain in your lower leg or heel, it could be a sign of Achilles tendonitis. Spine and Joint Solutions in Colorado Springs can provide sports medicine for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts that don’t want to miss out on the first few weeks of great weather.

Achilles tendonitis usually occurs in the middle or lower portion of the tendon and it can cause severe pain and inflammation. Runners are most susceptible to it and only through proper treatment can they hope to restore mobility and reduce the pain caused by Achilles tendonitis. We will discuss all of your treatment options with you, including anti-inflammatory medications, topical agents, physical therapy, and injections. One option is platelet-rich plasma therapy, which can reduce the pain and inflammation in the tendon. This can often be a safer choice than a steroid injection.

Dealing with a sports injury is never pleasant, especially when the weather turns nice and you want to be outside, running or cycling. At Spine and Joint Solutions, we know how you feel and we want to help you literally get back on your feet. If your Achilles tendon is bothering you, come to us for sports medicine treatment in Colorado Springs and we’ll provide the proper care. Make an appointment online or call us at 719-282-7850.

How Can Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Benefit You?

At Spine & Joint Solutions, we’re constantly trying to improve our care and provide the best therapy for every patient that walks through our door. We know that not every therapy or method is going to work on an individual patient, so that’s why we learn as much about you and your condition or injury before we proceed. One such method that has proven effective for many patients is our platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. In Colorado Springs and beyond, people have seen dramatic improvements in tissue recovery.

PRP therapy is fairly simple – we begin by drawing blood, and then place it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and the plasma from the other cells. We then inject this now platelet-rich sample of blood into the affected tissue area, where it can work to heal and repair the damage. More than one injection may be necessary, but results show up within weeks and your recovery time is drastically reduced. As with any procedure that we perform, you’ll be completely informed and educated on what is taking place and what you can expect.

If you have damaged tissue, our platelet-rich plasma therapy in Colorado Springs may be exactly what the doctor ordered. We want you to feel confident that your body will heal, and will gladly answer any questions that you have along the way. We’re not here to administer a universal remedy to your condition – we’re here to listen and provide exceptional care that’s designed to treat your unique situation.

Joint Pain in Your Knees? Come See Us in Colorado Springs Today

When you’re struggling with knee pain, high levels of mobility and activity can be very hard to achieve. If you’re experiencing severe pain in your knee each time you take a step or bend your knee while sitting, it’s important that you seek treatment for your joint pain right away. At Spine and Joint Solutions in Colorado Springs, we’ve treated numerous knee ailments, and can provide the advice and treatment that you need to live an active life once more.

Knee problems can be caused by many things, one of which is overexertion while playing sports. As sports medicine experts, we’ve seen our share of meniscal tears and other knee problems. The meniscus is the cartilage that sits above the knee joint, where the femur and tibia meet. It protects the knee joint and is the attachment point for several ligaments within the leg. If you’ve over-rotated or twisted your knee, it’s very possible that you’ve torn your meniscus. Your knee may swell, keeping you from being able to extend it fully, and you may hear a popping sound when you walk. These are good indications of a meniscal tear, and it’s essential that you seek treatment right away.

Depending on the severity of the tear, we will recommend a treatment plan that will help you rehabilitate your knee in the least amount of time possible. We’ll conduct an MRI or CT scan to fully assess the damage to the meniscus, and our ultimate goal is to restore functionality and mobility to the joint as quickly as we can. If you’re dealing with knee joint pain in Colorado Springs, please come see us today.