“Your knees are crap!” Yes, that is the medical term I used to describe Gary’s (name changed to protect the innocent) knees as we looked at his x-rays. The cartilage on the inside of both knees was completely gone leaving him with daily bone on bone grinding pain.
He could not walk the dogs with his wife more than half a mile without pain.
He had to walk down stairs sideways one at a time the pain was so bad.
He had to take a few different pain medications daily to manage his symptoms.
He had to take even more if he wanted to play a round a golf, his passion, without paying for it for days afterward.
His quality of life as a result – terrible.
At 66 years of age, he was facing a knee replacement but did not want to go that route. He traveled a ton for work, and couldn’t see taking the time off to recover and rehabilitate from a major surgery. He also had a golfing buddy who had one without a great result, and that made him nervous.
Eight weeks ago, Gary decided to have stem cell therapy instead.
What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cells are specialized cells within your body that have the capacity to heal and regenerate a wide array of tissues.
Stem cell therapy is a non-surgical procedure that involves extracting stem cells, either from your bone marrow or fat stores, and then injecting them into an area of tissue damage that has been unable to heal on its own.
This therapy harnesses the regenerative capacity of your body’s own healing cells to accelerate the natural healing process, halt, and repair the damage.
Stem cell therapy, and the specialty of Regenerative Medicine, is rapidly evolving with advancements in technology and a better understanding of the application of this incredible therapy based on more than ten years of use in the United States.
By those of us specializing in this field it is considered to be the breakthrough natural healing and less invasive treatment that has long been needed in orthopedic medicine.
What conditions can be treated with stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy has been used as a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment for a variety of orthopedic conditions:
- Tendon and ligament injuries, strains, or tears
- Rotator cuff tears
- Hip and shoulder labral tears
- Achilles tendonopathy
- Patellar tendonopathy
What are the benefits of stem cell therapy?
The most substantial benefit of stem cell therapy is that is a minimally invasive and non-surgical treatment that works with your body to heal injuries or chronic damaged tissue. Other than the risks of the procedure (no different than any other injection), the procedure is either going to help you or it is not. This is not a procedure that will permanently alter the structure of your body – for better or worse.
Accelerated healing and regeneration leads to decreased pain that can last for years, and can even be permanent when treating certain conditions.
The recovery time is also much different than with surgical procedures. Following treatment, patients are able to initiate rehabilitation and return to activity much sooner than with most surgical treatments.
Are you a candidate for stem cell therapy?
Not all patients or conditions qualify for stem cell therapy. There are some instances where it is not safe to use this treatment:
- Currently being treated for cancer
- Treated in the past for certain types of cancer (such as lymphoma)
- Have an active infection or compromised immune system
- Some cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis
I see every new patient in my office in order to conduct a thorough history, physical examination, and review of imaging studies (xrays, MRI’s, etc.) in order to determine if this treatment is safe and appropriate for your condition.
Why should you consider stem cell therapy?
If you have been dealing with an acute or chronic injury, persistent pain, or diminished quality of life due to a painful condition, you may be a candidate for stem cell therapy.
When other treatments have not been able to deliver a satisfactory outcome, improve or return the quality of life you desire, then you should consider exploring this groundbreaking, minimally invasive treatment.
Back to Gary.
Last week I saw Gary in follow-up 8 weeks after his procedure.
- His average daily pain score – down to a 1-2/10 compared to 7-8/10 prior
- In his estimation, the prior debilitating pain and functional limitation had improved 80%.
- He isn’t taking anywhere close to the amount of medication he had to take prior.
- Most importantly he was able to walk 2 miles a few times last week with his wife and dogs for the first time in years.
His golf game? – still stinks! But, at least he can’t blame his knee pain for that!
Despite his x-rays still looking like crap, Gary’s results (Disclaimer: Of course in no way can I guarantee for every case) are nothing short of remarkable.
Committed to building a safe and sustainable treatment plan for your joint pain
P.S. We are the only clinic in southwest Arizona dedicated to Regenerative Medicine treatments, including stem cell therapy.