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Natural therapies now offered at Banner Health to help heal athletic injuries and reduce pain

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (May 21, 2024) – Banner – University Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute and Banner Sports Medicine Scottsdale are using a unique treatment method involving a person’s own plasma and bone marrow to help treat an athletic injury or orthopedic pain - a broken bone, injured muscle, tendon or ligament. Orthobiologics, also known as regenerative medicine, can help a person help heal from injury without surgical intervention.

Orthobiologics uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a concentrated solution taken from a patient’s own blood. That blood has to be spun at a very high speed to separate out the red blood cells before being injected into the precise location of injury to help promote healing. The procedure lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.

“Injuries like tennis elbow, or knee osteoarthritis can really benefit from PRP treatment and physical therapy,” said Dr. Rafael Buerba, sports medicine surgeon at Banner Health. “However, pain relief isn’t always felt immediately. Instead, PRP promotes healing of the injury in a natural course of time. Injections and medications, on the other hand, may improve the pain in the short term without fully healing the injury.”

Orthobiologics can also use a patient’s own bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) for treatment. The process removes the bone marrow from the patient’s pelvis and places it directly into the injury for healing. This procedure lasts about an hour.

“The stem cell injections have the power to generate greater, longer-lasting pain relief than other traditional injections. Our bodies do its very best to heal an injury at the get-go. And these injections amplify that goal,” said Dr. Elizabeth Batterton, sports medicine primary care physician at Banner Health. “Older, athletic individuals suffering from chronic injuries – think of a friend of family member suffering from a reoccurring hamstring tear, for example – can really benefit from orthobiologics.”

Banner Health sees patients as young as 13 years old and sometimes, as old as 98 years of age, interested in orthobiologics treatment. PRP and BMAC is not currently covered by insurance.

Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 33 hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits and patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

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