Juliet Burry

The Promise of Pain Free Living

As Seen in “A Better You” in the Orlando Sentinel by Christine VanDyk

The 80-year-old man was in unbearable pain. Unable to stand for very long, his knees had become bone on bone. That was when he went to see Dr. Juliet Burry of the Pain Management Institute & Aesthetics in Altamonte Springs.

“After a stem cell treatment on both knees this patient was up and walking again,” she said. “He actually went to Sea World with his family and was able to go for the entire day. That’s what is so exciting about today’s pain management options. People who are approaching immobility are able to enjoy their lives again.”

According to a Gallop-Healthways poll, 47 percent of Americans surveyed reported living with chronic pain. Nearly a third had neck or back pain, 26 percent said they experienced knee or leg pain and 18 percent had another condition that resulted in chronic pain. In fact, the reports show that chronic pain is so wide-spread it effects more Americans than heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined. Economically that translates into more than $600 billion a year in treatments and lost productivity costs according to the Institute of Medicine.

“Regenerative treatment procedures, like stem cell therapy, are able to give real hope, even to patients who’ve seen other doctors and therapists,” Dr. Burry said. “It used to be that once you had arthritis it was yours to keep. Now, we can potentially reverse the process. I’ve never been able to tell patients that before.”

Stem cell therapy: (which is not covered by insurance) uses mesenchymal adult stem cells which are harvested from a patient’s fat or bone marrow. Together with platelet rich plasma (PRP), a component in the blood that contains hundreds of proteins called growth factors, the combination has been shown to improve arthritic conditions and stimulate the healing process in joints, tendons and ligaments.

The process was originally made famous by athletes like Tiger Woods who turned to the procedure for problems like sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. Today, it’s being used to allow patients to heal themselves with their own biological material.

The procedure, which is done in a doctor’s office, is very cutting edge but, according to Dr. Burry, “has enough data behind it to support its claims of success.”

While she is quick to point out that “in the world of pain management, there is no magic pill or treatment,” Dr. Burry claims that with a multi-model approach this new technique has the potential to “give hope where once there was none.”

In the past, patients relied on pills or surgery for relief from pain.

“But patient’s want something beyond a prosthetic,” she said. “They want a knee that lasts as long as they do. And as for pills, they often just mask the pain and have their own side effects to manage.”

According to Dr. Burry, “pain management is also managing expectations” and that means an honest explanation of what is possible and a commitment to following the treatment plan.

“If you’re sedentary, you will have pain,” she says. “You have to get moving. In addition, there’s no substitute for good nutrition, proper sleep and exercise. But if you’re committed to your treatment, we can provide significant pain relief. That’s real hope.”

So what should patients look for in their pain management treatment? Dr. Burry recommends asking the following questions when seeking medical help.

• Ask what are all of your options.

• Ask what are the long-term effects of the procedure.

• Ask what you can do to maximize the benefits of the procedure.

• Research the success rate of the procedure on your own. However, keep in mind that just because you found it on the web doesn’t always mean it’s true.

In addition, come prepared for your visit with the following information:

• Provide a detailed explanation of how the injury occurred.

• Be articulate about the type and severity of pain. For example, what is the sensation like? Is it tingling, tearing or a deep ache? To diagnosis the condition, it’s important to define the pain.

• Be specific about all of the therapies and medications you’ve tried.

• Provide records from past physicians and therapists.

“I remember when the average male lived to 74,” Dr. Burry says. “Not much thought was given to what to do beyond retirement because most people didn’t expect to live much longer. Today, people are living into their 90s and there is an acknowledgment that patients don’t want to live for years with unresolved pain.”

And it’s not just older individuals that are suffering. Car accidents and sports injuries are effecting the lives of younger individuals. People in their 40s and 50s are seeing spinal and orthopedic pain from repetitive use, trauma and work-related injuries.

“There are people out there who are living with acute pain,” Dr. Burry says. “The problem is that it can lead to further injury and even loss of function. But when they come into my office, we can determine where they are in treatment and spring board from there to develop real, promising options. There is a lot of science going on today and a pain-free existence is becoming more and more possible with each new discovery.”

Can Stem Cells Be The Answer To Your Arthritis Pain?

As seen in “A Better You” in The Orlando Sentinel by Christine VanDyk

Can Stem Cells Be The Answer To Your Arthritis Pain?

If you’re an athlete, a person struggling with excess weight ora someone who’s had years of prolonged wear and tear on your body, you probably know a little something about joint pain. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is a condition that affects everyone from professional football players to Sunday-morning golfers. The symptoms include pain, tenderness and stiffness; as well as locking of the joints and decreased mobility. While the primary cause is unknown, some secondary causes of osteoarthritis include trauma, history of fracture, obesity, genetic predisposition and sustained repetitive movement like that common to athletes.

Stem cell therapy can be used as treatment in patients who are candidates for surgery, for example, knee replacement, but are seeking a less invasive alternative. “If a patient wasn’t a surgical candidate, they were told to live with the pain or stay on medications,” Dr. Juliet Burry, an anesthesiologist and pharmacist with Pain Management Institute & Aesthetics, said. “Stem cell therapy offers people a real chance for sustained pain relief.”

Stem cell therapy is a cutting-edge, non-operative treatment that enhances tissue repair. It can be used for arthritic joints and tendon injuries such as plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow and rotator cuff tears. During the treatment, the patient’s own stem cells are harvested from bone marrow, fat tissues or a peripheral vein, and then re-injected into the injured area.

“Using only a local anesthetic, we remove a few grams of body fat and blood,” Dr. Burry said. “Then we spin those in a centrifuge to remove the stem cells and platelets. After that, we reinsert them into the arthritic joint.”

The platelets release growth factors that encourage the natural process of regeneration. Studies show that this therapy induces the production of new collagen, which in turn helps rebuild cartilage and strengthen injured ligaments and tendons.

“There’s a lot of science behind the success of this,” Dr. Burry said. “That’s the reason I can feel confident recommending the benefits to my patients.”

In fact, researchers writing in the medical journal Arthroscopy found that patients with knee osteoarthritis who were given stem cell injections noted significant reduction in pain, improvement in function and MRI-documented cartilage growth.

Knee pain is something that affects two out of every 10 Americans, especially now that our population has become heavier. Knee arthritis and early conditions, such as tears in the meniscus, used to require arthroscopic surgery to “clean out” the joint. Unfortunately, the technique saw little success. Another option was knee replacements using artificial joints, but they typically wore out after about 15 years. But with stem cell injections, doctors can actually stop the degenerative process and even regenerate the damaged cartilage.

“Stem cell therapy is extremely safe and presents minimal risk of adverse reactions or complications,” Dr. Burry says. “And in most cases, it can be done in as little as a couple of hours.”

While there is a cost associated with stem cell therapy, Dr. Burry claims it can be a better return on your medical spending than long-term treatments that offer little hope for sustainable recovery. When compared to cortisone injections four to five times a year, medications that have to be taken daily or the on-going costs of other treatments, stem cell therapy may in fact be more affordable than what a patient is already spending on less effective forms of treatment.

While Dr. Burry says she has not heard of any stem cell therapy patients who have returned to their previous levels of pain, she does caution that it is still impacted by the normal aging process.

“It’s like having a facelift,” she jokes. “Just because you had one at 50 doesn’t mean you won’t need another at 70. A senior citizen having stem cell therapy may get relief from pain, but he’s never going to have the knees of a 20-year-old.”

Even though Dr. Burry is the first physician to perform stem cell therapy in Central Florida, it is not a new procedure. In fact, it has been performed on professional athletes for more than a decade but, until recently, the costs were so prohibitive that it had not made its way into the marketplace.

“Athletes have had success with this for years,” Dr. Burry said, “but Kobe Bryant paid $15,000 to have the treatment on his knee and Peyton Manning had to travel overseas for the procedure.”

Now that stem cell therapy is gaining in popularity and equipment costs have dropped, the average person can afford the same relief from pain once enjoyed only by a few.

Beauty and Brains, No. 1 Readers Choice

Dr. Burry was featured in Orlando Style Magazine!

“Juliet D. Burry, M.D. is a board certified anesthesiologist with a subspecialty board certification in pain management through the American Board of Anesthesiology. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree with high honors then her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Florida and completed a residency in anesthesiology at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Because of her interest in relieving the suffering of others, Dr. Burry then chose to complete her fellowship in the subspecialty of pain management at Moffitt Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute, in Tampa, FL in order to have depth and breadth of knowledge of all types of pain syndromes including cancer-related pain. Dr. Burry is a member of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, American Association of Orthopaedic Physicians, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists as well as the local county medical society chapters and the Florida Medical Association.”

Read the Entire Article on Orlando Style Magazine’s website.

 

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