From pain and discomfort to a lack of mobility, injuring a tendon in your body can take a serious toll on your day-to-day life and overall well-being. If left untreated, a tendon injury can worsen and develop into osteoarthritis, chronic pain, or a permanent disability. All of these side effects stack up to the need for joint replacement surgery, which should only be pursued as a last resort.

What if there was a way for your body to heal itself naturally, repairing tendon damage so that you can resume the activities in your life that bring you the most joy? At Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa in Peoria, we may have the answer. Our licensed practitioners offer regenerative medicine treatments like stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma and platelet-rich fibrin injections to encourage the body’s natural ability to regenerate damaged tissue. It’s also suitable for tendon injuries associated with overuse or aging.

In today’s post, we will take a look at how our regenerative medicine treatments compare to other methods of treating tendon injuries. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment, reach out today for a consultation. 

Treatment That Relieves Pain

There are two common approaches to treating tendon injuries, the first of which is to target the pain. One approach is so common that it has its own acronym: RICE. No, this grain doesn’t have pain-relieving properties; it stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. 

On top of that, many doctors recommend taking a pain reliever like aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory OTC drugs. If the injury is acute, a doctor may prescribe a painkiller or opt for steroid injections that relieve inflammation.

While this method can be successful, it doesn’t treat the underlying tissue injury, requires significant amounts of downtime, and has the potential  risk for side effects associated with painkillers and steroid shots. While it’s important to rest your injured joints to give your body time to heal, there’s only so much that can be accomplished by treating just the pain of a tendon injury alone. Regenerative medicine targets the damaged cells and tissues specifically, using stem cells and PRP/PRF injections to encourage new cell growth and replace damaged cells.

Treatment That Involves Surgery

The second main approach to treating a tendon injury is surgery. This can range from small surgeries that reconnect the damaged tissue to more invasive surgeries like joint replacement.

Tendon Repair

If a tendon injury is severe enough, it may require surgery to repair. The goal of this surgery is to reconnect the tendon to the bone and muscle or repair lacerations made to the tendon. This surgery isn’t too invasive; however, it does require anesthesia and a decent amount of recovery time.

The surgery could involve one or more incisions, then the tendon will be repaired. After the surgery, a splint will have to be worn in order to keep the joint immobile so that the stitches can heal. Healing time can take up to 12 weeks with required physical therapy or occupational therapy.

Unfortunately, a tendon repair surgery is not guaranteed to restore your body back to its original state. Side effects of tendon repair surgery can include:

  • Scar tissue buildup, interfering with mobility
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Re-injury

Why would you spend valuable time and money on a surgery that may not be able to restore the full mobility of your joints? For this reason alone, it’s worth it to explore the benefits of stem cell therapy.

Joint Replacement 

If a tendon injury progresses, it can develop into a more serious condition like osteoarthritis or another disability. When this is the case, doctors often recommend joint replacement surgery to their patients. This should always be a last resort because the surgery replaces the entire joint and the head of bones, making it the most invasive option with significant recovery time.

A surgery this intense requires an incredible amount of preparation by the patient, as well as adjusting one’s lifestyle to accommodate for the recovery time. Preparation includes gathering medical records, getting in shape for surgery, and making changes to your home so that you have access to everything more easily.

When you go through joint replacement surgery, your aftercare is essential for making a full recovery. A surgery this invasive presents even higher risks than just a tendon repair surgery. Potential complications include the risk of infection and deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a large vein). Patients may also experience pain around the replaced joint after surgery. 

With such serious risks and the invasiveness of the surgery, joint replacement should only be considered when all other options have been exhausted. If you haven’t consulted your doctor about regenerative medicine treatments to repair damaged tendons, it’s worth a shot to avoid this life-altering surgery.

Regenerative Medicine That Targets the Pain & Cause

At Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa, we offer a variety of regenerative medicine treatments that help you get back to living your life to the fullest. The stem cell therapy we offer is minimally invasive, injecting PRP/PRF directly to the site where you’re experiencing tendon damage.

The serum stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanism to produce new cells and replace damaged ones — no steroids, painkillers, stitches, or metal joints required. To learn more about how regenerative medicine can be used to treat your tendon injury or joint pain, schedule a consultation with one of our Senara physicians today.