A Tale of Two Siblings and A Knee Replacement Alternative at One Year Out

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knee replacement alternatives

There are many younger patients these days that find themselves needing a knee replacement, This morning I’d like to write about a brother and a sister who both found themselves in that precarious situation. The 57 year old brother is a patient of ours because a knee replacement wasn’t a good solution for his active lifestyle. As a result, he sought out a knee replacement alternative. He had already undergone a lateral meniscus surgery in 1998 and had tried prolotherapy. His MRI showed tears of the posterior horn of both the medial and lateral meniscus tissues as well as thinning and fraying of the articular cartilage with subchondral marrow edema and a chronic sprain of the ACL. He was told a knee replacement was the next step.

Dr. Schultz felt he was a fair candidate for the Regenexx-SD stem cell procedure, so he decided to give it a try. Rather than injecting stem cells blindly somewhere into the knee joint, Dr. Schultz targeted his ACL under c-arm fluoroscopy and his meniscus using ultrasound guidance.  The result on a recent 1 year registry questionnaire? No pain, no problem getting in and out of a car or climbing stairs, or sitting. He describes his overall improvement as excellent and more than 100% recovered.

He came to my attention again yesterday when I was contacted by his sister who took the other route for her knee and underwent a knee replacement. She was surprised by her brother’s recovery and wanted to know how it was possible that he improved through just an injection when her own experience of a knee replacement was such an ordeal.

The upshot? Successful treatment involves being able to accurately diagnose the problem. Treating this patient’s knee required that we realize that his ACL needed to be targeted as much as his meniscus/cartilage and also that we use very precise placement of cells into these structures with more than one type of imaging. In addition, as I told his sister yesterday, like for many, many other patients we’ve seen since 2005, thankfully a knee replacement is no longer the only option!

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
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Many Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

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Knees are the target of many common sports injuries. Sadly, they are also the target of a number of surgeries that research has frequently shown to be ineffective or minimally effective. Knee arthritis can also be a common cause for aging athletes to abandon the sports and activities they love. Regenerative procedures can be used to treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. They can even be used to reduce pain and delay knee replacement for more severe arthritis.

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Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
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  • And more
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Hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and conditions relating to overuse of the thumb, are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
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Hip injuries and degenerative conditions become more common with age. Do to the nature of the joint, it’s not quite as easy to injure as a knee, but it can take a beating and pain often develops over time. Whether a hip condition is acute or degenerative, regenerative procedures can help reduce pain and may help heal injured tissue, without the complications of invasive surgical hip procedures.

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Foot & Ankle

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes. These injuries can often benefit from non-surgical regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
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