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Regenerative medicine provides nonsurgical relief for patient’s pain

Wednesday, February 07, 2024 5:20 PM

By Susan J. White 

Years of construction work left Terrance Vaughan with significant back pain and injuries that ultimately required surgery. When his hip began bothering him a few years ago, Vaughan first assumed it was related to his back and sciatica issues. But an MRI revealed a partial tear of the hamstring insertion at the hip bone, and Vaughan was initially leery of having to undergo more surgery to address the persistent pain in his hip and gluteal muscle.

Fortunately, he was referred to Endeavor Health sports medicine specialist Rajiv Verma, DO, who suggested platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a nonsurgical regenerative medicine treatment that’s an ideal conservative option for some chronic injuries.

Terrance Vaughan smiling out window

PRP is a concentrated form of platelets created by drawing a patient’s own blood, processing it in a centrifuge and then injecting it into the injured area to stimulate the body’s own healing process.

“There’s more and more data that supports use of PRP for appropriate patients, especially those who are not good candidates for surgery or when surgical treatment is not warranted,” said Dr. Verma.

Vaughan’s hamstring tear is a fairly common injury that often results from wear and tear over time, said Dr. Verma, who uses real-time ultrasound guidance to direct the PRP injection into the injured area. While Vaughan understood that the procedure itself could be somewhat painful, he decided to go for it.

“Dr. Verma and his athletic trainer Katy were great. He answered all my questions and they were so responsive with messages on NorthShoreConnect. I trusted Dr. Verma; it didn’t take me long to say ‘let’s do this,’” said Vaughan, who is thrilled with the positive results and nearly complete pain relief.

“The procedure was way better than I thought it would be and I was only uncomfortable for a day or two after,” said Vaughan. “My pain is 90-95% better. It used to be that if I was in the car driving for an hour, it would take me 10 to 15 minutes just to get going again, to be able to walk normally. I don’t have any of that now.”

“As we have more studies and patient-reported outcomes we are continuing to gain a better understanding of how to deliver PRP more precisely with data-driven decisions for these evidence-based treatments,” said Dr. Verma.

Dr. Verma also credits Vaughan with being a good patient and diligent with his physical therapy work to regain strength following the procedure. “It’s so rewarding to help patients like Terry return to their full lives and daily activities without chronic pain,” said Dr. Verma.

“I slowed down a little before this procedure, but I am back to regular exercise, walking three to four miles a day,” said the 72-year-old Grayslake resident who enjoys time with his wife, five sons and 10 grandchildren.

“I really didn’t want to have surgery again, and I am so glad I didn’t need to,” said Vaughan. “I would 100 percent do this again.”

The team of experts at Endeavor Health Orthopaedic & Spine Institute offers world-class options close by. We use innovative, minimally invasive techniques for joint replacement, complex spine surgeries, sports medicine and more, so you can get back to the activities you enjoy sooner. Learn more.

NorthShore University HealthSystem, Swedish Hospital, Northwest Community Healthcare and Edward-Elmhurst Health are now united under one name, Endeavor Health. We’re setting a new standard for healthcare that’s focused on you, because your best health is our endeavor. Learn more.