What is Autologous Fibrin Disc Repair?
Autologous concentrated fibrin disc repair is a novel non-surgical technique used for the treatment of painful, leaky discs. At Southwest Spine & Sports, Dr. Michael Wolff has worked over the last 10 years to develop a specialized method of concentrating products from your own blood to create a “disc sealant” with regenerative properties that can be injected into your damaged disc. Learn more about autologous fibrin disc repair and if it may be a treatment option for you by contacting our Scottsdale, AZ facility to schedule an initial consultation.
Who is a candidate for Fibrin Disc Repair?
At Southwest Spine & Sports, we see many patients who suffer from chronic back pain and who have been given little hope from various treatments. If you have been diagnosed with degenerative disc diseases, or you know you have injured a disc with acute trauma, you may be an ideal candidate for receiving autologous fibrin disc repair. We love offering this treatment whenever possible, as it helps our patients avoid highly-invasive procedures and long-term reliance on painkillers. In your consultation with Dr. Wolff, we will cover the cause of your back pain, along with a customized treatment plan to have you feeling as pain-free as possible.
Why use autologous fibrin disc repair?
- Chronic back pain is often difficult to treat. Studies have shown that a damaged disc is often the source of low back pain. The disc can be painful either because of tears in the disc wall, referred to as internal disc disruption (annular tears), or disc degeneration, part of the natural aging process.
- Traditionally, the only treatment for a painful disc has been surgical fusion, which involves the destruction of the disc and placement of a combination of metal rods, screws, and an inflexible spacer between the vertebrae in place of your own flexible disc. However, recent developments in regenerative medicine offer a promising alternative to spinal fusion.
- Autologous (meaning taken from your own body) concentrated fibrin disc repair, combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and donated stem cell products, is proving to be an effective treatment for painful discs. This minimally invasive, natural treatment should be considered before choosing more invasive spinal fusion surgery.
What are the benefits of Fibrin Disc Repair?
Autologous fibrin disc repair is an exciting treatment that uses platelet-rich plasma as part of a disc sealant solution to help treat chronic back pain and degenerative discs. Additionally, it avoids the risks and downtime associated with back surgeries. Benefits of autologous fibrin disc repair performed at Southwest Spine & Sports include:
- Alleviating pain caused by degenerative disc disease
- Using your body’s own cells as part of the treatment
- Results in as little as a few weeks with optimal results appearing around six months
- Minimized downtime
- Nonsurgical and minimally invasive treatment
- No general anesthesia
- Customized treatment care
- No scarring or need for physical therapy after treatment
"Nurse Practitioner Sheila Janisch is an integral and incredible part of SWSS. Sheila truly cares about her patients and goes above and beyond to provide outstanding care. Sheila has personally helped me to be able to live a better life with her help. I can't recommend her enough! Sheila doesn't treat her patients as just an injury or an ailment but she gets to know her patients and really listens to them. I give both Sheila and Dr. Wolff my highest recommendation! 10 out of 10!!!"- M.C. / Google / Sep 02, 2022
"yesterday I came for my second visit and I was put at ease from the moment I came in. Doctor Wolff was referred to me by another top notch doctor. I was not disappointed. His expertise and confidence shows. Not that he needs a review to confirm this, but just wanted to give credit where it is due. I appreciate the work he has done towards my back recovery."- R.P. / Healthgrades / Sep 01, 2022
"I was referred to Dr. Wolff by another outstanding Doctor. Doctor Lakin, the best Internist in the Valley. I was impressed by a great caring staff that put me at ease during a difficult time. I have a lot of treatment to go, but thus far, Dr. Wolff was by far the best back/spine doctor I have been to. You would not be disappointed going here for treatment."- R.P. / Yelp / Aug 31, 2022
"Dr. Wolff changed my life twice! The first time he treated me for severe lower lumbar pain that had plagued me for over 20 years. After his prescribed treatments I was pain free for 2 years. Then after I was rear-ended in an car accident, I had lower back, hip and SI joint pain that was once again quite debilitating. After many months of physical therapy trying to resolve the issues, Dr. Wolff’s pain management treatments once again got me back on my feet. Its been nearly 3 years and I’m still feeling great!"- M.P. / Yelp / Jul 29, 2022
"Dr. Wolff is a life saver. After months of struggling with a shoulder and neck pain, he took control of my diagnosis and treatment plan. Absolutely exceptional doctor and how often do you heart that?"- D.F. / Google / May 20, 2022
How does fibrin disc repair work?
- A sample of your blood is taken and processed to concentrate fibrinogen (part of the normal clotting cascade), along with potent anti-inflammatory and growth factors. This concentrated solution of fibrin is combined with your own platelet-rich plasma and donated stem cell factors from a newborn’s placenta. Then, using fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, this concentrated solution is carefully injected into the damaged area of your painful disc and activated. The combined factors fill the tears in the disc wall (the annulus) and seal them.
- The fibrin, stem cell products, and growth factors combine to facilitate healing of the disc by repairing damaged disc tissue and stimulating the growth of new tissue. This provides increased strength and stiffness of the disc wall and helps to stave off, slow down, or even reverse degeneration. The addition of stem cell products combined with your fibrin and PRP provides additional potent anti-inflammatory and regenerative benefits. Additionally, stem cell products injected into the nucleus help to regenerate the water-loving, “cushioning” function of the disc. Ultimately, this treatment results in a healthier, less painful disc and improvement in your low back pain.
What can I expect during and after treatment?
This minimally invasive outpatient procedure takes about one hour and is performed in our state-of-the-art surgery center. The patient receives a local anesthetic and has the option of mild intravenous (IV) conscious sedation to ensure maximum comfort during the procedure. A needle is carefully advanced under x-ray guidance into the disc. Autologous fibrin concentrate, PRP, and stem cell products are injected, filling the gaps/tears in the disc.
- It is normal to be sore for a few days after the procedure. Both the level of discomfort and the recovery time is minimal, and both are significantly less than you would experience after spinal fusion surgery.
- There is usually some downtime that could range from a few days to a few weeks post-procedure, depending upon the condition and number of discs treated.
- You may have some work restrictions for several days to weeks depending upon the type of activity involved at work (sedentary vs. physical).
- You may have some restrictions from sports activities for a few weeks to months depending on the condition being treated, its severity, and the sport involved.
- You may use mild pain medications as needed for a few days after the procedure if you experience pain.
- Most people notice an improvement in their symptoms within several weeks of the procedure. Progressive improvement may continue for six months.
Above is a “before” image of a patient with low back pain who has a degenerative disc with an annular tear at L4-5 (yellow arrow). The “after” images demonstrate repair of the annular tear. Clinically, the patient had resolution of their low back pain.
Patient Success Story
Interview with Dr. Wolff
At Southwest Spin & Sports, we are dedicated to helping our patients experience an improved quality of life by treating a number of conditions. With autologous fibrin disc repair, Dr. Wolff can provide regenerative results through innovative care. Contact us in Scottsdale, AZ, to learn more and to schedule a consultation.
Fibrin disc repair FAQ
How can I prepare for fibrin disc repair?
Patients at Southwest Spine & Sports can prepare for fibrin disc repair by making sure their bodies are healthy and fit prior to their procedure. The healthier you are, the better chance your body will respond well to treatment. Our staff will let you know if you should avoid taking any medications or supplements before fibrin disc repair.
Why choose us for fibrin disc repair?
Southwest Spine & Sports is proud to employ board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors to provide for patients in need of fibrin disc repair. These specialists are trained in minimally invasive spinal procedures so patients can recover successfully. We hope to build personal relationships with each patient — so they feel comfortable with the treatment.
What about surgery?
While many people turn to invasive surgery to treat pain in the back, muscles, and joints, this isn't always the most ideal option. Our procedure in Scottsdale, AZ, is minimally invasive, which means the chances of complications are much lower than for traditional surgery. There's also a shorter recovery time so patients can get back to their normal routines more quickly.
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