Another long-term Knee Stem Cell Follow-up
Another long-term knee stem cell follow-up… DW is a 63 year old active runner who was first seen by us in early 2007 for moderate knee arthritis. His MRI showed lost cartilage, but without severe bone spurs (KL grade 3). He had a long standing knock kneed deformity (varus) with chronic inside knee pain which by that year was getting worse. He told us that he used to run 100 miles a week, but that this level of activity was now not possible. In fact, he had just returned from a very peaceful Hawaii vacation in agony, having to sleep with a pillow between his legs just to get some sleep. He then tried all the things we would all think of: weight loss, supplements, anti-inflammatory pills, and steroid shots-none worked. Weight loss helped a little, but not enough to keep the pain at bay. He found that if he didn’t constantly take MSM and glucosamine, the knee pain would worsen, so he religiously stocked up on these pills. Motrin, Alleve and similar anti-inflammatory pills would help the knee pain somewhat, but he was concerned about the long-term side effects. Steroid shots in the knee gave only short-term improvement. Finally by mid 2007 he had had enough. He considered a knee replacement, but found our clinic and entered a clinical trial instead. In May of 2007 we re-injected DW’s own stem cells into his degenerative knee as apart of an early Regenexx-C procedure study. He reported initial improvement, but one of the questions I get asked constantly by patients is how long can the positive benefit from stem cells last? David is now 4 and a half years out from his knee injection and reports 80-90% improvement in the treated knee. How about his other knee? It’s continued to worsen so much that he’s now returning to have us work on that joint. The upshot? Our longest standing arthritis patients are now in the 4-6 year range after having their own stem cells injected into their joints. Many are still doing well despite the test of time. We wish DW well and hope to be able to help the other knee while continuing to track his stem cell knee!