Dr. Kessel is a physiatrist who specializes in non-operative treatments of musculoskeletal injuries and has an interest in the use of ultrasound to target medications to the precise location of tissue damage. One procedure that optimizes on ultrasound technology is the new and progressive treatment in regenerative medicine, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). Utilizing therapeutic injections, like PRP, has been shown to be safer and to greatly improve treatment results. The treatment has even received significant attention from the media and has been used by members of the New York Giants along with other NFL players and elite athletes. Dr. Kessel is committed to providing the highest quality medical care and achieving the best outcomes for her patients.
PRP is a new treatment in regenerative medicine that uses the patient’s own blood and platelets to promote healing and helps the body optimize on its own natural processes. The patient’s own blood is drawn then placed in a centrifuge machine that separates the blood, leaving the platelet rich plasma ready to be removed. Afterwards, the PRP is placed right into the area of damage using ultrasound. Most people benefit from one injection but depending on the severity of the damage, it could take up to three. This method can help heal injuries including tendon/ligament injuries (Achilles Tendonitis),tennis elbow, cartilage loss, arthritis, and small tears (rotator cuff tears and meniscal injuries).
Note: Because PRP is given in the hopes of optimizing the initial inflammatory response of healing, anti-inflammatory medications should likely be stopped at the time of PRP treatment. Please consult your physician before any procedure.
The Mystery is in the History
Careful history taking and examination helps the sports medicine physician diagnose the condition. It is helpful to know what maneuver produces the pain; or when the pain occurs. Many times with an overuse the injury the symptoms will first occur after the activity; then earlier and earlier into the activity until you become symptomatic at rest. It is important to seek medical attention long before that occurs. It is not normal to have pain with the activity. It is important to consult a physician regarding your symptoms, and to find the cause of the injury so that re-injury does not occur once the present injury is treated.
What are the treatment principles for Overuse Injuries?
Management of the condition depends on the severity. Relative rest, which is stopping the aggravating activity while maintaining cardiovascular activity with another activity is one aspect of the treatment program. For example, use of a stationary bicycle or elliptical, or swimming, which are nonimpact activities, might be an alternate activity for a runner while the injury is healing. One needs to individualize the modified activity for the patient and their injury. Other aspects of the treatment plan are pain management with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication as indicated if no contraindication; physical therapy to include instruction in stretching and strengthening exercises; use of an appropriate brace or support for the injured body part; correction of predisposing factors; and modification of biomechanics.
Are there some injury prevention guidelines?
We would all like to prevent an injury from occurring and to maximize our athletic endeavors. Some key points to remember to help get you there are: appropriate training and conditioning for the sport; check your biomechanics for the sport; allow for adequate recovery and do not engage in your sport when you are tired or in pain. Engage in a variety of sports and activities so that you are not always using the same muscles in the same way. Many elite level athletes complement their specialized sport training with another sport. For example, a cyclist might skate or play hockey in the off season to maintain muscle balance of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles of the thigh. It is best to be proactive and prevent the injury from happening.
Dr.Cohen will be discussing Stress Fractures and Biomechanical assessment in future blogs.
If golf or racket sports are in your plans for the spring you will want to hear tips from fellowship trained orthopedic foot and ankle specialist Mark Yakavonis, MD, MMS and fellowship trained hand/wrist/elbow specialist Mark Vitale, MD, MPH who will discuss common injuries seen in golf and racket sports. Special guest and local tennis pro Patrick Hirscht will also speak. Learn about common injuries, and how to choose footwear, braces and exercises to prevent injury and play your best; whether it’s the foot, hand, wrist or elbow, they’re all at risk for injury when you’re active. Dr. Yakavonis and Dr. Vitale will discuss nonsurgical and surgical treatments, along with ailments particular to racket sports. You will have the opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of the talk. The program is free and open to the public. Registration Requested. Call (203) 863-4277 or register online at www.greenhosp.org.
William McHale started off as many other athletes did, full of energy and feeling invincible. As we all know, that feeling of invincibility is only a feeling. In the 7th grade, young William broke his ankle playing football; fortunately he was then referred to Dr. Paul Sethi.
Dr. Sethi considers all of the athlete’s needs which helps set the stage for a successful and timely recovery period and translates into an ideal patient-doctor experience. When McHale got older, he started as a linebacker in 30 consecutive games between his sophomore and senior years at Yale University. During his senior year though, the labrums in both of his shoulders tore. Time was of the essence if he wanted to recover in time for his Pro Day in front of NFL Scouts. Who did he contact? None other than our very own Dr. Sethi.
The MRIs originally taken of the injury did not reveal the full extent of the damage but Dr. Sethi corrected all issues encountered during the surgery. After the procedure, William was scheduled to go to physical therapy multiple times a week and overall, it took about six to seven months for a full recovery. Since then, William has not had any other issues regarding his shoulders.
Where is William McHale now? He played to his full potential on Pro Day, was invited to Minicamp with the New Orleans Saints, and just returned from playing football in France; congratulations!
Gloria Cohen, MD is a specialist in non-operative sports medicine who believes in taking an integrative approach to medical management by considering a patients’ bio-mechanics, cardio-vascular and pulmonary function as it relates to athletic performance. Aside from her impressive medical career, Dr. Cohen is a successful competitive runner who has qualified twice for the New York Marathon and is also an off-road and road cyclist. Her academic insights are a combination of both research and real-world experience, the following article is her most recent commentary on the topic of “overuse injuries”:
What is an “overuse injury”?
An “overuse injury” is an injury that results when excessive stress is applied over a period of time to bones, muscles, tendons, and other supporting soft tissue structures of a particular body part. This differs from an acute injury which happens quickly and is traumatic in nature. Too much stress to a body part will cause the tissues to break down faster than healing can occur, thereby resulting in an injury. A good analogy would be to consider what happens to a credit card or a piece of metal when you bend it back and forth repetitively – first you see the stress reaction, and then with continued stress the item breaks in two. As you can appreciate, we want to avoid the latter situation when it comes to the body.
What are some common examples of “overuse injuries”?
Every body part can be affected by an overuse injury. Some common examples you might be familiar with are: rotator cuff injuries of the shoulder; epicondylitis or tennis elbow; patellofemoral pain syndrome of the knee; and tibial stress syndrome or “shin splints” for the lower leg. Here are a few case examples of classic overuse syndromes:
A 40 year old male has recently increased the intensity and frequency of his swimming activity over the summer months. He now complains of pain in the front of his shoulder with overhead and rotation motion. Diagnosis: Rotator cuff tendinitis
A 30 year old female has been playing tennis daily, now competing in matches at a more difficult level. She complains of increasing soreness in the outside aspect of her elbow. She had tried to play through the pain, but had to stop. She says that she can barely lift a coffee cup now because of the elbow pain. Diagnosis: Tennis Elbow /Lateral epicondylitis
A 20 year college student takes up running during her summer break from school. When she returns to school, she decides to train for a half marathon. As she increases her mileage, and adds speed work to her training program, she develops pain in the inside aspect of one shin. She now complains of pain with just walking. Diagnosis: Shin splints/Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
What are some of the specific causes of these “overuse injuries”?
As a primary care sports medicine physician I recognize that there are sport specific issues which may contribute to the resulting injury; but there are common “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” factors which play a major role in the development of these types of injuries. “Intrinsic” factors refer to the elements that we cannot control but that we can modify. These include biomechanical alignment, such as knock knees, bowl legs, flat feet or high arched feet; leg length difference; muscle imbalance; muscle weakness; and lack of flexibility. These factors can be modified to maximize the individual’s performance, and thereby treat or prevent injury. An example would be a conditioning program and sport specific training. The “extrinsic factors” include training errors, such as doing “too much too soon”; training surfaces – running on too hard a surface, or playing on an uneven surface; shoes – it is important to wear the appropriate type of shoe for your foot mechanics and the sport; equipment; and environmental conditions. Paying attention to the “extrinsic factors” will help you modify the “intrinsic” ones.
… to be continued in the next segment, Overuse Injuries: Recovery (Part II)
Join the Junior League of Greenwich and the Greenwich Library for a discussion moderated by two-time NBA all-star Allan Houston and featuring a panel of experts from the NBA and NFL on the prevention of adolescent sports injuries. Former Knicks star and Greenwich resident Allan Houston is one of the NBA’s all-time greatest long range shooters, an Olympic gold medalist, current Assistant General Manager of the NY Knicks and spokesperson for the National Fatherhood Initiative.
Panelists include Andy Barr – Director of Performance and Rehab for the New York Knicks, Mubarak Malik – Head of Strength and Conditioning for the New York Knicks and Dr. Demetris Delos – orthopedic surgeon at ONS (Greenwich Hospital) and formerly of the NY Giants.
The Junior League of Greenwich and the Greenwich Library aim to educate parents about helping their kids reach their full physical and athletic potential. Admission is free but seats must be reserved online at www.greenwichlibrary.org.