Regenexx Featured in Good Housekeeping

by Chris Centeno, MD /

Medical Advances and Breakthroughs

From easy knee repair to scar-free surgery, read about some of the latest medical breakthroughs that could change your life.

Read this article on the Good Housekeeping website.

It’s not every day, or even every decade, that research leads to a real medical breakthrough — the kind that revolutionizes the treatment of a disease or condition. But these cutting-edge therapies promise to do just that. And for the four women profiled here — who have been part of these exciting studies — the revolution has already happened.

Knee Self-Repair

Three years ago, Pixie Greenemeier, then 45, was doing a squat in her exercise class when she tore her right meniscus, the cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee. The injury was severe — Greenemeier, a mother of four and a pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital in Denver, was in constant pain, which sometimes interfered with her responsibilities at work: “If I had to bend down to look at, say, an oxygen tank, it was a real ordeal to get back up.”

Greenemeier thought arthroscopic surgery would help restore her active lifestyle — she also took rigorous self-defense classes — but there was so much damage (“In one area, it was basically bone on bone,” she says), there was no way to repair it. Her only option, it seemed, was knee-replacement surgery.

Then Greenemeier learned about a new procedure that uses a patient’s own stem cells to regenerate damaged tissues. Physicians extract bone marrow from your hip, grow special cells from it in the lab, and then inject them into the injured area of the ailing knee. Over the next several weeks, the cells differentiate into the type needed — in this case, cartilage. Plus, they “act like general contractors,” says researcher Christopher Centeno, M.D., head of the Centeno-Schultz Pain Management Clinic in Broomfield, CO, who conducted trials on the procedure. “They can bring in other cells to help with repair or inflammation.” This versatility makes stem cells potentially useful for fixing many problems; indeed, hundreds of studies are under way, testing the cells for everything from wound healing to heart repair.

For Greenemeier, the procedure has been life-changing. Although the injection of cells into her inflamed knee was somewhat painful, after three weeks, the discomfort and swelling eased. Strikingly, an MRI taken six months later, before a second injection, showed that the cartilage had grown by 40 percent. And the cartilage has kept on growing — now, two years later, it’s increased about 70 percent.

Although not every patient is so lucky, among a group of 50 people slated for knee replacement in Dr. Centeno’s pilot study, almost 90 percent had at least a 50 percent improvement in function and pain. And for half of these volunteers, the improvement was 75 percent. Next up: a randomized, controlled study.

Today, Greenemeier can work — and work out — without pain. She’s enjoying all her favorite fitness activities, including deep squats at her conditioning classes. “I can go all the way down again,” she reports. And her 12-hour shifts at the hospital are not a problem. “The other day, I finished and my knee was a little sore,” she says. “Then I realized it was my left knee — not the injured one.”

(Please note, this patient was treated with the Regenexx-C cultured stem cell procedure and not Regenexx-SD.  While Regenexx-SD does rely on the same stem cell type that was used to treat these patients and other clinics have reported good results using similar procedures that don’t rely on stem cell culturing, Regenexx-SD clinical effectiveness has not yet been established.)

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.
Select Your Problem Area
Shoulder

Shoulder

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.

  • Rotator Cuff Tears and Tendinitis
  • Shoulder Instability
  • SLAP Tear / Labral Tears
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Other Degenerative Conditions & Overuse Injuries
Learn More
Cervical Spine

Spine

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
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Knee

Knees

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.

  • Knee Meniscus Tears
  • Knee ACL Tears
  • Knee Instability
  • Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Other Knee Ligaments / Tendons & Overuse Injuries
  • And more
Learn More
Lower Spine

Spine

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
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Hand & Wrist

Hand & Wrist

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.
  • Hand and Wrist Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger
  • Thumb Arthritis (Basal Joint, CMC, Gamer’s Thumb, Texting Thumb)
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More
Elbow

Elbow

Most injuries of the elbow’s tendons and ligaments, as well as arthritis, can be treated non-surgically with regenerative procedures.

  • Golfer’s elbow & Tennis elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Ulnar collateral ligament wear (common in baseball pitchers)
  • And more
Learn More
Hip

Hip

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.

  • Labral Tear
  • Hip Arthritis
  • Hip Bursitis
  • Hip Sprain, Tendonitis or Inflammation
  • Hip Instability
Learn More
Foot & Ankle

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.
  • Ankle Arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ligament sprains or tears
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More

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Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.