Welcome to the Hack My Age podcast interview with sports medicine doctor Guillermo Recatero. Today we will be talking about how to stop arthritic pain and the degeneration of our joints and tissues through new minimally invasive methods like PRP and other regenerative medicine techniques. We want to learn about what we can do before considering surgery for pain from injuries and the degeneration coming from wear and tear.
ABOUT DR. RECATERO
Dr. Recatero formerly worked with the number one (in my opinion) football team Real Madrid (that’s soccer for the Americans). So you can imagine the injuries he has seen over the years with professional athletes who he had to get back on to the pitch in just a matter of weeks.
Dr. Recatero is a board certified Sports Medicine Physician who takes a functional and holistic approach. He holds a Masters in Sports Medicine Injuries, Manual Therapy and Osteopathy and a Masters in Alternative Medicine and Homeopathy. He is an avid learner and researches the latest science on sports injury diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Dr. Recatero has treated my knee with PRP injections to regenerate the cartilage and help bring stability from a complete ACL tear and is now helping me get rid of my osteoarthritis in the hip. I have seen dozens of doctors in the last 25 years since I injured my knee. Most of them tell me to get surgery. I haven’t yet succumbed to surgery as I find alternatives that keep me running, jumping and exercising at a high intensity.
IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT PRP
- Attitude of patients is important.
- Connect mind, body and soul for best results.
- Inactivity is causing pain in the body. Body is getting stressed and trying to speak to you through the pain.
WHY DON’T TRADITIONAL METHODS WORK?
- Traditional 7-10 min medical consultations only allow a doctor to solve the symptoms, not treat the root cause
- We need to go to the origin of the problem, that’s why medicine used in the national system doesn’t work.
- Cortisone shots don’t work. It hides the symptoms, but has side effects, inflammation, degeneration of the cartilage.
WHAT IS PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma – use your own blood to regenerate. The joints are avascular and don’t have a blood supply, so they cannot heal the same as a skin cut and cannot regenerate by themselves. If you take the blood plasma, which has stem cells and growth factors, then inject them into the injury, the body may regenerate tissue. Its simple and it works.
Over 95% success in Dr.Recatero’s clinic.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT DR. RECATERO’S TREATMENT?
- It’s a new technique. Each doctor does his own way.
- Different procedures on how to spin, how to inject, what to add, etc.
- Dr. Recatero took 1 year sabbatical to travel and learn about PRP from many locations around the world for medical research from best clinics and learned from the best doctors to create his “Dr. Recatero Elixir” based on what he learned.
- He’s the only doctor in the world doing this special technique
- In the future he will train other doctors in this technique
- Dr. Recatero takes your blood plasma, adds collagen, hyaluronic acid and/or ozone therapy to help make the difference
- Maybe add some curcuma, traumeel
HOW NEW IS PRP? WHY DOESN’T INSURANCE COVER IT?
- It’s about money.
- Knee replacement is €7,000 (USD$8,300) , so the “system” and the doctors benefit.
- Plasma isn’t as expensive as surgery.
- In the future, it may change. In Switzerland PRP is in the beginning stages of being covered by insurance. There is enough evidence that it is working.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
- Watch Zora’s 1 minute video of her hip injection and another for the knee here.
- Consultation total is about 15 – 20 min. The actual injection part is just a minute or two.
- No risk of rejection because you use your own blood.
- Extract your own blood from the arm.
- Spin the blood in a high quality machine at a specific speed.
- Then inject to shoulder, knee or hip or articulation.
- Dr. Recatero guarantees his treatment. No one has ever asked for a refund.
- 70% of doctors don’t use an ultrasound, so they’re not going to have good results. You need to be very specific. Dr. Recatero studied 14 years to do this.
- Use of local anesthesia, clean and sterilize area, then use ultrasound guidance to avoid nerves, tendons or structures that can damage.
- Can drive home directly after injection and immediately feel pain free.
- Take a day or two without training, just a gentle walk of no more than 20 -30 minutes.
- Feel a little pressure during the injection, but its very simple.
DOOR HINGE ANALOGY FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS
- Osteoarthritis means friction between two joints.
- When cartilage is thin, there is more friction and there is bone to bone and degenerating the cartilage.
- When you add hyaluronic acid, it creates a pillow so it separates two components and there is no more friction.
- Then over time stem cells can create its own collagen and its similar to cartilage and regenerates the cushion in between the two bones.
- Follow up after 1 year to check the distance between two bones.
- Recommended to do 1 PRP treatment every 1 – 2 years, but depends on the grade of the injury
Grade 0 – no damage
Grade 1 – need 1 or 2 sessions
Grade 2 – need 2 -3 sessions
Grade 3 – 3 -4 sessions
Grade 4 – no cartilage and PRP does not work. Its too late and need to do surgery.
WHERE CAN PRP USED?
- ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tears
- Ankle sprains
- Arthritis in toes, knees shoulders
- Works really well for herniated disks. PRP combined with ozone. Lots of evidence.
- Rotator cuff injuries and neck problems.
HOW LONG CAN IT LAST?
- Can repair completely depending on circumstances
- If a complete tear, and more than 2 tendons are compromised, then need surgery
- If 1 or 2 tendons instead of three then you can regenerate completely.
- Rafa Nadal had rotator cuff injury and was treated with PRP and it worked.
- In osteoarthritis there is no cushion. After 1 year the cartilage degenerates year after year. If you avoid what costs the problems and take care of it, then you won’t need to have many sessions. You need to work with a personal trainer to strengthen the muscles to slow down the degeneration.
WHAT ABOUT OLDER PEOPLE CONCERNED AND WANT PREVENTION?
- First identify if you have a biomechanical problem with the injury.
- Need a diagnosis first. Get diagnosed even with a small amount of pain.
- If the physio doesn’t resolve the pain, best to go to regenerative medicine doctor to prevent further damage.
HOW HAS PRP CHANGED IN LAST 10 YEARS?
- Treatment changes year to year
- In the beginning, doctors only collected the blood and re-injected it back without adding extra components.
WHAT OTHER TREATMENTS FOR PAIN?
- Contracture from stress can use muscle relaxant or natural anti-inflammatory.
- Alternative medicine.
- Hyaluronic acid
- Anti inflammatories, curcuma, etc.
- Many other techniques
- Normally all techniques are injections and they’re precise, fast and have quick results.
- Also must always work with a physio and personal trainers.
FUTURE OF REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
- First solution to problems.
- It’s cost effective
- More patients will become aware of it
- No one will wait anymore until surgery is absolutely necessary
HOW TO PREVENT?
- Exercise – stretching, yoga, pilates, personal training, strength training.
- All these measures realign the body, increase blood flow, lower stiffness, hydrate cartilage
- Lower inflammation, low grade chronic inflammation
- Must get the basics of diet and healthy lifestyle for it to work best.
- If blood is not good, you cannot expect success
- At Buchinger clinic, there are patients who are fasting vs not fasting and there are huge differences in their blood plasma. There can be amazing change quickly in the plasma. But when patients return their unhealthy lifestyle and diet, they return to low plasma levels, so regenerative process won’t be very good.
COST OF PRP
- Varies across the globe. It’s not standard
- €5,000 (USD$6,000) for 3 sessions in the US
- In Spain its €400 (USD$475) per session, but can change if you add on.
- Dr. Recatero does treatment for last 7 years and sees great change. He is 34 years old.
- PRP is well known for the vampire facial
- Regeneration of your own skin called the sub-dermis, layers under the dermis
- Skin becomes smooth, plump, glowing and rejuvenated, clear and very natural.
- Skin looks healthy. Its not a botox effect or hyaluronic acid filler, which looks a little fake.
- Takes 3 – 4 weeks to see results. Both for joints and the face.
- Best to do several times a year. First time is to reduce inflammation and therefor you can’t put a lot of volume in. Then with 2nd and 3rd injection, inflammation goes down and you can put in more volume and that’s when you get best results.
- Bruising and bleeding varies with different people, doctors and techniques and needles. The needles that Dr Recatero uses is a very bendy fine one and doesn’t give blood or hematoma. Also uses a good anesthetic cream. There is no pain.
- PRP facials may be used in conjunction with botox and fillers. It improves quality of botox and fillers without side effects.
- PRP creates 83% more endogenous collagen, proven in the literature. Botox effect can last even 3 months longer when combined with PRP.
- Recommended to do 3 treatments in the beginning. Each month one session and then follow up once a year to boost it, prevent and maintain hydration and quality of skin.
- The difference is measurable through the thickness of skin and layer of collagen with a device. An objective measurement.
PRP FACIAL VS BOTOX
- Some patients want botox and hyaluronic acid, but PRP is a more natural look.
- PRP gives a shiny, glowing skin and youthful. Botox doesn’t
- PRP has no side effects. Botox and HA have side effects
- Most dermatologists would recommend PRP for cancer prevention
- PRP diffuses wrinkles, but does not remove them in a way that botox does.
- Elasticity and sagginess is improved with PRP, but not with botox.
- Give PRP a chance
- Pain doesn’t let you live life
- It’s worth trying to be pain free
WHAT DO YOU DO EVERYDAY THAT MAKES THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOUR HEALTH?
- Meditation – it programs your mind. Life is completely different and one can tolerate pain better
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This podcast is edited by @JonathanJK
This blog post is edited by Alison Copywriting
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