Using Stem Cells in an Elite Track Athlete: Regenexx Patient Cydonie Mothersill wins Cayman Invitational

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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stem cell running stress fracture

Can stem cells be used as a running stress fracture treatment in an elite track athlete? Cydonie Mothersill is an elite track athlete and gold medalist at the 2010 Commonwealth games, 2010 Mayaguez, and CARIFTA games. After her great performance at the Commonwealth Games in 2010, she was within striking range of a medal in the 200M at the London Olympics.

The Cayman government wanted us to see Cydonie at Regenexx Cayman to keep her running. She initially presented to us with a non-healing tibial stress fracture, Achilles tendonitis, and a hip labrum tear. Any of these injuries could have been career ending for an elite runner. The difficulties in treating Cydonie were the same as with any elite athlete; all of her non-invasive treatment had to be fit in and around her high level running and training. However, had Cydonie gone the traditional orthopedic surgery route, her surgical hip labrum repair and bone grafting, or fixation for the stress fracture (or being off training for 6 months) would have taken her out of an entire season. While for a younger runner, losing a season to heal multiple injuries might have been chalked up to experience; at 32 with her last Olympics looming, this wasn’t an option for Cydonie.

Instead, we went to work using a Regenexx-SD stem cell injection treatment for her hip and tibial stress fracture and followed that up with Regenexx-C treatments. Can a running stress fracture be treated with stem cells? We’ve demonstrated proof of concept by publishing a case series of non-healing fractures that we treated successfully only with an injection of stem cells. We’ve also posted many cases showing that we can help the hip labrum heal through a very precise injection of the patient’s own stem cells into the labral tear. Within a few weeks, the pain and swelling from the tibial stress fracture began to subside and the hip pain was gone. I then saw her again in March. By that time her biggest ongoing issue was the Achilles area, which was reinjected along with her back (Regenexx-PL-Disc). By the March visit, the only thing that made the tibial stress fracture hurt was decelerating after a race. Since all of this had been accomplished with injections instead of surgery, she was still able to train hard. As a testament to her perseverance and this unique medical treatment plan, she recently won the 200M in the recent Cayman Invitational!

We’re proud to have helped Cydonie avoid career ending surgery by using her own stem cells in a stem cell running stress fracture treatment, and hip and disc treatments, and hope that she continues to use her unique drive and spirit to run her race. Next stop-London Olympics!

NOTE:  Regenexx-C and Regenexx-SD are medical treatments and like all medical treatments have a success and failure rate.  Not all Regenexx-C and Regenexx-SD patients can expect the same result.

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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