Can Stem Cells Treat Severe Knee Arthritis?

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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can stem cells treat severe knee arthritis

We’ve spent a decade researching how various types of patients respond to stem cell treatments. For knee arthritis patients, it would seem to make sense that patients more severe arthritis wouldn’t respond as well to stem cell injections as patients with mild disease. After all, that’s what others have found when studying the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP). However, our clinical research hasn’t shown that to be the case-i.e. our patients with severe arthritis seem to do as well with stem cell injections as those with mild arthritis. So can stem cells treat severe knee arthritis? Case in point is Mike Goro.

Mike is a 62 year old ex-college football player with a 10 year history of knee pain. He had already undergone an arthroscopic surgery on each knee, with the left side being an old fashioned open procedure in the 70s where they removed large amounts of meniscus. By the time he was seen by Dr. Schultz in November of 2012, he had severe arthritis in all three compartments of both knees. He underwent a Regenexx-SD stem cell procedure in each knee and had both treated in November of 2012 and a touch up SD treatment on the right in November 2013. From here, I’ll have Mike tell his own story from an e-mail he sent this week:

“Subject: bilateral knee stem cell replacement

Back in 2012, my orthopedic surgeon recommended I have bilateral knee replacement.  A second surgeon recommended the same.  As a former college football player during the 70s I have had a total five surgeries on both knees.  My knees ached constantly.  It was hard walking down stairs or down hills when I golfed.  I gave up running.  Since I have a background in Exercise Physiology, I decided to look at alternative treatments before yielding to the surgeon.  On an internet search,  I found Regenexx.  I had a personal consult with Dr. Schultz and decided that I really had nothing to lose except a couple thousand dollars.  It was worth the risk.  If it didn’t work, I could still have the surgery and my insurance would cover the 35,000 each knee would cost.  I scheduled the procedure, flew to Colorado and met with the Regennex team.  All were incredibly friendly and incredibly helpful.  All my questions were answered and to my amazement, Dr Schultz suggested he not only could grow replacement cartilage where I was missing cartilage, but he could also fix my loose Anterior Cruciate Ligament.  The cartilage I believed, but to be honest, I doubted the ACL.  Six weeks later I was pain free.  Six months later I realized that my knee no longer “slipped out” when walking down stairs.  My ACL was tighter!.  I immediately schedule a procedure for my other knee.  Now nearly 3 years later, I have no pain.  I can golf without limitation.  I can work in my yard on my knees pain free.  Many friends and friends of friends have asked me for information on Regenexx and I have enthusiastically passed it on.  But to my surprise, most never move forward on it.  Instead they go back to their surgeon for his opinion.  If you have reached the point of looking into this, talking to your surgeon is not going to help.  I am an executive in the health industry and I can tell you first hand that your surgeon is not going to recommend you do this and give up the money he’d be making by operating on you. Whether its cartilage, ligament or total knee he stands to make significant dollars off of your pain.  If you can afford the cost of stem cell then do it.  you have nothing to lose.  If it doesn’t work you can always go back to your doc and have your insurance cover the high cost of his surgery.  My guess is you will find yourself as happy and satisfied as I am now and you won’t have to suffer through painful and long rehab.  My name is Michael Goro and I’m glad I found Regenexx.”

Congrats Mike, for dodging the knee replacement bullet!

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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