Does Having a Specialist Matter for Knee Stem Cell Injection Success?

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stem cell knee experience

Does stem cell knee experience matter? After all, stem cells are magic, right? I lectured at an age management conference in Florida this weekend and one of the other presenters lectured on a patient case. While the topic was age management medicine, her discussion with me is the impetus for this blog. She said that one of the doctors in the audience came up to her and asked if all of her cases were that complex or if this was a tough one. She responded that the case she presented was in fact a relatively easy one. Obviously the physician asking this wasn’t very experienced in the medical art of age management, so he was quite depressed to hear that what they believed was adequate knowledge wasn’t really adequate. Today’s blog is a similar situation. Many physicians without proper training have thrown their hat into the stem cell orthopedic treatment world. There are now web-sites where you can get your breasts enlarged with stem cells by the same doctor who will also inject your knee. I just met with a patient who is a great example of why expertise matters. She presented to us in 2010 with moderate to severe arthritis under her knee cap. At that point nobody had noticed that she also had an irritated nerve in her back, which we treated per our holistic Orthopedics 2.0 philosophy. She eventually underwent a Regenexx-SD procedure which dramatically helped the pain under the knee cap, but she still had pain at the back/outside of her knee. On re-evaluation it was clear that the lateral hamstrings muscle had lost strength and control because of the chronic irritated spinal nerve in her back, thus leading to overload of the lateral hamstrings tendon as it inserted at the outside and back of the knee. She then underwent a third series of injections to treat this tendinopathy under ultrasound guidance. The result? 80% relief. She’ll undergo another round of stem cells to see if we can get full relief, but the point is that without identifying that she had three issues: a pinched nerve in the back, kneecap arthritis, and a tendon problem in the lateral hamstrings-she would have never had anything but a small amount of relief with stem cells. The upshot? Experience matters big time. If a doctor offers to treat your chronic neurologic disease, make your breasts bigger, and inject stem cells into your knee-you may want to look elsewhere.

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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