As orthopaedic procedures enter an era of biological treatments, Dr. Michael J. McDermott of Santa Rosa Orthopaedics (SRO), offers his patients the latest in non-invasive orthopaedic procedures. Dr. McDermott is currently exploring the use of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections as a treatment that many famous athletes and others are turning to in order to relieve pain, heal previous injuries and return quickly to competition.

Celebrities in the media rave about the effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections and how it has allowed them to returnMcDermott-profile

quickly to their sport without the effects of surgery. Tiger Woods, tennis star Rafael Nadal and Kobe Bryant are a few of those who received PRP for various injuries including sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries, where they credit the treatment for their ability to heal quickly, reduce pain and to preform in their sport within a relatively quick period of time. Even though this method has achieved a large amount of positive publicity, patients have to remember that what works for some does not work for everyone. Professional athletes, in order to compete at an elite level often look for the “quick fix.” This can be an unnecessary and a sometimes-dangerous solution for some, especially when the treatment doesn’t coincide with the injury.

“It is important to consult with a physician when considering a procedure with such little research or FDA approval. The hype in the media in part, helped to make this treatment what it is today. While PRP’s early studies are based on scientific theory and show progress, long-term efficacy is still forthcoming,” states Dr. McDermott.

Dr. McDermott is an orthopaedic sports medicine specialist, surgeon and the co-director of SRO’s Sports Medicine Center where he offers comprehensive treatments to a variety of athletes including professional, collegiate, recreational and high school athletes. Dr. McDermott is also a leader in other orthopaedic care including complex reconstructions and minimally invasive procedures of the knee and shoulder. He additionally focuses on total joint replacement procedures, where his high success rate can restore function and mobility to patients who quickly return to their busy lives playing golf, tennis and simply staying active. His work is in coordination with the SRO Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, where their comprehensive center guarantees that his patients receive the latest and complete care possible.

In an era of increasing technological advances, medicine is constantly evolving. Dr. McDermott makes it a regular occurrence to research and inform his patients of the latest advances in the orthopaedic field. He attends medical seminars on the latest medical discoveries and innovations and published several notable pieces within the medical community, which keeps his knowledge on the leading edge of medicine and offers his patient the best in orthopaedic care.

Dr. McDermott emphasizes the ability to treat injuries and conditions with the least invasive procedures. He is always seeking advanced treatments for his patients and stays on the cutting edge of orthopedic and sports medicine technology. One of the latest advances he is currently researching is the recognized Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections. PRP is an example of medical technology entering a biological phase where physicians can now treat patients using their own cells to repair other damaged cells, a much more ideal procedure than using an artificial substance. PRP is a treatment that does just that, it uses the patients’ own blood, concentrates the platelets and then is injected into the injured area of the body. Platelets are best known for their role in clotting blood and contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which are essential in the healing of injuries. The platelets are separated from the patients’ blood, concentrated then combined with the remaining blood. This process presumably activates growth factors (5 to 10 times greater than usual) and stem cells in order to repair the injury and in some cases, relax osteoarthritic symptoms and decrease inflammation.
Although the process is not proven 100 percent effective, recent studies have shown that the concentration of growth factors in PRP can potentially speed up the healing process. In a recent study by the Hospital for Special Surgery, patients treated said to have experienced improved pain and function. Seventy-three percent of these patients also showed signs of decreased progression of osteoarthritis, which is a progressive disease.

“Early studies are beginning to show efficacy in regards to the promise of PRP’s effectiveness. Long-term studies are still necessary to ensure the success of the procedure, and thus cannot be defined as a first-line of treatment,” states Dr. McDermott.

PRP can treat a variety of conditions, which makes this technology exciting for the medical industry. It is said to be more effective in certain areas of the body yet the risks associated with the treatment are minimal because using the patients’ own blood reduces the danger in adverse reaction or disease. PRP is best suited for chronic overuse conditions such as: tennis elbow and tendon sprains as well as other athletic injuries including torn muscles in the hamstrings, thighs and knees. This treatment has additionally shown some effectiveness in arthritic knee and fractures, although these have not been shown to provide any significant benefit.

It is important to keep in mind that these treatments are always under scrutiny and hundreds of scientific studies show that the success rate is not yet up to medical standards. As much potential as this treatment has for the future, these studies use subjective outcome factors, such as pain and function levels, which vary from patient to patient. These biases are prevalent in every study until an objective and quantifiable factor can be measured. The success of PRP therapy is questionable and further research by the medical community is needed before it can determine whether this therapy is effective in other types of conditions. Your physician will inform you of any risk factors and whether or not you would be an ideal candidate for this treatment method.

At SRO, Dr. McDermott plays an integral role in a collaborative team of 8 multi-specialist orthopedic surgeons, and experienced physical and occupational therapists. In its efforts to bring the best outcomes to patients, SRO has set the model for exceptional orthopedic care for over 60 years. SRO offers its patient’s in-house diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, sports injury prevention, as well as advanced surgical treatments in joint replacement, sports medicine, trauma care, hand, foot, and ankle surgery and general orthopedic surgery.

Contact Dr. McDermott at SRO for an appointment to discuss the latest advances in non-invasive and non-surgical orthopaedic procedures that can improve function, pain and mobility. For more information on Dr. Michael J. McDermott, sports medicine, and Santa Rosa Orthopaedics’ other services, visit our website at or call (707) 546-1922 to schedule an appointment.