Dubai: Tried everything but nothing’s relieving that frozen shoulder or tennis elbow? Doctors at Dubai’s Rashid Hospital are now employing a regenerative technique that might work for you.
Exclusively authorised to offer the platelet-rich plasma or PRP therapy to treat sports injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders under the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), a Sunday clinic at Rashid Hospital has been receiving a steady flow of patients since its launch six months ago.
“Sports injuries are very common. We deal with several cases of rotator cuff, tennis and golf elbows and knee and neck pain daily. These patients usually have endured pain for years and come to us a last resort,” said Dr Saud Trebinjac, consultant at the hospital’s physical medicine and rehabilitation department.
He explained that PRP is a concentration of one’s own blood platelets which can trigger healing in a natural way using a relatively simple and non-surgical technique with a quick and promising outcome. “We use it to treat chronic conditions of the knee, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Besides rotator cuff, tennis and golf elbows, we also treat conditions like heel pain and jumper’s knee.”
So how is it done? Dr Trebinjac who does the procedure with Dr Philippe Rewe Bertrand, anaesthesiologist, said: “We see patients in the outpatient clinic. The procedure takes about 40 minutes. We begin by taking 20ml of blood and feeding it into a centrifuge machine that spins the blood for eight minutes. The platelets and plasma are separated in a high concentration. Using a syringe and guided by an ultra sound machine, we then inject 4-5ml of the platelet-rich plasma directly into the injured area. The benefit can be realised in three-four days.”
Some patients recover in just three sessions, others take more time, depending on the damage. Dr Trebinjac has a word of caution. “There are many misconceptions surrounding PRP, which has been banned in private clinics under DHA. The problem is that regenerative therapy is caught between exaggerated claims on the one hand and scepticism on the other. The truth lies somewhere in between and it cannot be abused and marketed as a miracle treatment.”
He said PRP is at best an alternative option when other modes of treatment fail. “The recovery rate is pretty good in many patients.”
Maryam, an Emirati, who suffered from tendonitis for many years, said she got relief from her aching shoulders in three sittings. “My pain has gone now,” she said.
The treatment is free for
Each sitting costs Dh4,200 for expats
Insurance does not cover the treatment.