July 16, 2024
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Dr. Howard Liss Brings Regenerative Medicine to Tenafly

Practice will be joined by experts who can provide novel treatment for spine and extremity pain.

Dr. Howard Liss, the founder and principal physician at Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute, has announced that he will be adding two physicians to his practice and, in so doing, will introduce regenerative medicine to his patients. With offices in Tenafly; Fort Lee and Riverdale, New York, Dr. Liss has already been nationally recognized for his work in integrating a fully equipped physical therapy office with his medical practice. Since 1981, he has specialized in the treatment of pain, back and neck conditions, arthritis, tendonitis and sports injuries. He has dedicated his career to the conservative treatment of individuals with pain and disability through physical and occupational therapy, injections and medications, and is oriented toward caring for patients based on a detailed patient history and examination rather than rushing to surgical treatment. The addition of these new physicians will round out his practice and allow him to offer a full range of services to patients, addressing tendon problems such as rotator cuff tendonitis, tennis and golfer’s elbow and patellar tendonitis; arthritis in the peripheral joints such as knees, hips, shoulders and thumbs, as well as spinal arthritis and sacroiliac-based pain.

As a physiatrist, Dr. Liss treats all types of inflammatory conditions affecting a range of body parts, including hip, knee, shoulder and more. He has long believed that there was a significant gap in treatment for conditions such as tendinitis, arthritis and others. “Mainstream” treatments only go so far: anti inflammatory drugs, as their name suggests, work to reduce inflammation in the affected body part, but can also potentially cause gastrointestinal bleeding and other side effects. Corticosteroid injections also reduce inflammation, but not only do they not heal the injury, they can also cause local degeneration of tissue in the affected area. Opioids are a third, less popular, option; while they are good at managing acute pain, they, too, do not have healing properties and obviously can cause long term issues in terms of addiction. The final option “of last resort” has always been surgery, which is a significant step for many to take and is not consistently curative.

All of the above options can help in the short term, but patients are typically looking for a long term cure. It has been found that there is often poor blood flow to the injured body parts, and these treatments do not address that issue, which is frequently the root of the problem. There are newer therapies available which are specifically tailored to these issues; however, they are offered in very few physicians’ offices. Since there have been relatively few level one (double blind) studies done to support their effectiveness, these treatments are not covered by insurance, adding to patients’ difficulties in obtaining the relief they seek.

Joining Dr. Liss in his practice are Dr. Gerard Malanga and Dr. Jay Bowen, experts in using these therapies via ultrasound guided injection, and experts and national lecturers on these topics. Dr. Malanga is one of a few leaders in this field internationally. He is triple board certified in

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry), Sports Medicine and Pain Medicine with a

fellowship from the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Bowen is likewise a leader in the field of regenerative medicine. He and Dr. Malanga have worked closely together for the past 20 years. Dr. Bowen is triple board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry), Sports and Pain Medicine, as well as being Prolozone Therapy certified (ozone). Drs. Malanga and Bowen have extensive experience with regenerative medicine and understand which patient populations and specific conditions have the best chance of responding to the above procedures.

With their collaboration, Dr. Liss will be able to offer three specific therapies in the comfort of his office, allowing patients to have their needs addressed in one central location. The therapies include prolotherapy, where dextrose is used to stimulate regeneration in the affected area; platelet rich plasma, where concentrated platelets are injected directly into the affected area, increasing blood flow, which stimulates healing; and cellular regenerative treatments, which works well with arthritic joints by “buying time” for patients who are not yet ready for replacement surgery.

While these therapies have not fully entered mainstream medicine, they are often used for athletes for whom finances are not a consideration and time is of the essence. The overall success rate for these therapies currently stands at 60-70 percent, which is quite significant. In time, these therapies are expected to enter the realm of the mainstream, where they will likely change the lives of many longtime sufferers. In the meantime, with these new physicians in his practice, Dr. Howard Liss will be at the forefront of regenerative medicine.

Dr. Howard Liss was one of only three national recipients of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s 2018 Distinguished Clinician award, which goes each year to individual physiatrists who have achieved distinction on the basis of their scholarly level of teaching and their outstanding performance in patient care activities. Typically, the award goes to physiatrists who work in university settings and according to Dr. Liss, “It is rare that it goes to someone in private practice. I am honored.”

By Jill Kirsch

Dr. Liss is an assistant clinical professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Columbia University, and a diplomate with the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Visit his website at www.lissrehab.com, or call his Tenafly office at 201 390 9200, his Fort Lee office at 201 820 7610, or his Riverdale office at 718 873 6362.

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