Spine Doctors in South Florida


Regenerative Medicine for Sports Injuries

Updated: Jan 11

As Americans take health and wellness more seriously, there has been an increasing trend in physical activity and participation in sports and fitness. Though the end result is a healthier heartier population, increased physical exertion can lead to injury.

According to the CDC, in an average year there are 8.6 million sports and recreation-related injuries. Half of these result in treatment at a doctor’s office or other health clinic without an emergency department visit or hospitalization.

The most common injury types of sports injuries are sprains (overstretching or tearing of ligaments) and strains (overstretching or tearing of muscles or tendons), followed by fractures – broken bones – particularly occurring in the lower body.

Other common injuries include:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL ) tear or strain)
  • Meniscus tear
  • Shoulder Rotator cuff tear
  • Hip or shoulder labral tears
  • Tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Dislocations
  • Hip Flexor injury
  • Concussion
  • Shin Splints
  • Sciatica
  • Hamstring injury or Strain
  • Tennis or Golf Elbow
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome (a common knee injury caused by a fall, swelling of the joint)

Dr. De La Peña at SWCA specializes in treating sports injuries on an individual level. Each of us is different and, as such, individual injuries are varied and wide-ranging in severity – and location – as well. Offering a variety of treatment options, Dr. De La Peña customizes treatment options and tailor them for each individual and their particular situation taking into account the injury itself, their overall condition and lifestyle.

There are no formal guidelines with regard to who can receive these treatments and both the average patient and professional athletes alike may benefit from regenerative therapy – either as the sole treatment, or in conjunction with additional conventional treatments. As many sports-related injuries entail the repairing or even the replacement of damaged ligament, tendon and cartilage tissue, treatments like Stem Cell Therapy can be used to speed up the process of healing. These therapies use the body’s own materials and natural healing ability to speed up recovery and even encourage new tissue growth.

Stem Cell treatments include platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) that makes use of growth factors found in a patient’s own blood. Other stem cell treatments include: Amniotic Fluid Placental Allograft, Lipogems, and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC). These innovative therapies are both successful and provide the patient with the opportunity to avoid pain, downtime, and the risks associated with invasive options like surgery. Regenerative medicine can treat:

  • Joint and cartilage damage
  • Torn shoulder muscles
  • Tendon injuries
  • Joint inflammation

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has regulations in place for professional athletes who use regenerative therapy. Stem cell therapy or PRP may or may not be prohibited depending on how the cellular material is manipulated or modified for use. Stem cell injections are prohibited if the product is modified in a way that can offer performance-enhancing benefits. Dr. De La Peña only uses only the patient’s natural bodily elements – blood, fat, bone marrow, and rich human growth factors for targeted, individualized treatments.

Maria Alejandra De La Peña, MD is a board-certified Anesthesiologist with a subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine. She is one of the few doctors in the Fort Lauderdale area to offer an alternative to risky and painful surgery. Utilizing these world-class treatments, residents and professional athletes alike can benefit from Dr. De La Peña’s specialized capability and high-level skill to perform innovative, cutting-edge and, ultimately, safe procedures that are geared towards each patient’s personal circumstance and situation. The end result is a healthier, happier patient able to enjoy sports and recreation activities once again.

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