Individuals suffering from chronic knee pain are finding non surgical solutions at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine in Watchung, New Jersey!

Patellar tendonitis (jumpers knee) is a common injury seen and treated at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine. This condition often presents with pain around the kneecap as well as the surrounding muscles that insert below the kneecap. Sports that involve jumping such as basketball, and athlete that are involved with squatting motions such as weight lifting cause extreme pressure on the tendon and over time chronic knee pain. In the workforce, this injury can be seen in carpenters, roofers, gardeners and plumbers who spend prolonged periods of time in a kneeling position.

Patellar Tendon Explained

The patellar tendon is made up of thick fibrous bands of tissue connecting the muscles of the lower leg to the tibia or shinbone and is designed to provide strength and stability to the joint. Large amounts of pressure
placed on tendons from forces generated via muscle contraction leave tendons susceptible to overuse injuries. Typically, pain will be felt at the insertion of the tendon just below the knee cap which will lead to inflammation and/or scar tissue. Because tendons have poor blood supply they tend to heal very slowly which can create pain for prolonged periods of time, leading to chronic problems.  With inflammation, scar tissue is soon to follow.

man holding knee in pain

Conservative Treatment Options

In most cases of jumpers knee, patients respond very well to conservative treatment options, which may include rest, over the counter medications and physical therapy. The treating clinician will work to strengthen and rehab the knee joint with long standing cases of jumpers knee but sometimes stubborn cases leave individuals continuously seeking a solution to chronic pain. In patients that have failed conservative intervention, surgical intervention typically was the next step which consisted of “releasing” the tendon, which has shown limited success.

How can Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy help me?

PRP is a cutting edge treatment option in the growing field of Regenerative Medicine which is one of the only non-surgical options for orthopedic conditions. PRP is considered to be the future of medicine in treatment options for unresponsive chronic injuries. PRP therapy relies on the body’s natural healing potential through the different growth factors and proteins located in your blood.  Because tendons have poor blood supply, PRP therapy can help heal damaged tissue by introducing healthy blood plasma to the site of injury to get you better, faster!

Where do I start ?

You will start with a thorough examination and history in order to rule out any other serious conditions with similar knee presentations.  The physician may utilize x-ray, ultrasound and MRI of the injured area to identify what structures are involved.  Once you are identified as a candidate for PRP therapy you will then begin treatment.

What can I expect?

This procedure takes place in our office and takes less than an hour. Blood is drawn from the patient and then centrifuged (spun and separated) in order to collect the different growth factors and healing proteins.  The healing factors in your blood will then be re-injected into the area of injury under ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy. PRP is meant to decrease inflammation and scar tissue, which leads to faster recovery.

For years, doctors have known about healing anti-inflammatory components of blood plasma by inhibiting certain proteins that increase inflammation. By reducing inflammation, this leads to a decrease in pain, which allows you to progress farther along in your rehabilitative process.   Typically, PRP is done in a series of 1-3 injections in combination with a course of physical therapy over a 6-8 week period.

If you or someone you know are suffering from chronic knee pain or if you have questions, please feel free to contact one of our patient care coordinators at 908-754-1960 or you may contact us online.

About the Authors:

Joseph Mejia D.O., F.A.A.P.M.& R, is a graduate of University of Michigan and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Dr. Mejia received his Fellowship Training in Interventional Pain Management from University of Medicine and Dentistry. He has advanced training in Regenerative Medicine and is the Medical Director and Partner of Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.

Vincent J. Diana D.C. is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College. He is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician with licenses held in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dr. Diana is a Chiropractic Physician at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.