People that know me know that I am both a car enthusiast and a bit of a pragmatist….
I just got finished reading a blog post about a man taking his car into a mechanic because the steering had become difficult. The mechanic looked at the car and concluded that the entire steering mechanism (involving a massive number of parts) needed to be replaced. As this was a relatively rare car, the parts would have to be special ordered, some would literally have to be created, the car would be out of commission for several months, this would be a very costly undertaking, and of course there was no guarantee that this would actually solve the problem. Considering the time without his car, the expense and the risk, the owner decided to seek a second opinion. The second mechanic evaluated the problem and concluded that actually, a much less monumental repair was needed, and that the owner could have his car back in 3 days. Needless to say, the gentleman decided to try the simpler repair first.
It occurred to me that so often we as people make more logical decisions about our “things” than we do about our health. Case in point, a 56 year old woman was referred to our clinic after having undergone a trapeziectomy with ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (taking out a bone at the base of the thumb and inserting a coiled up tendon to cushion the area) on her left hand 6 months earlier. She sought us out because although her right hand was in worse shape than her left had been, this surgery, the extensive recovery and rehab, complications, time, cost and risk, were simply not something she was willing to subject herself to again….until she had this time fully explored simpler, less invasive, less risky options.
We evaluated her and found her to be a suitable candidate for the Regenexx- SD thumb surgery alternative procedure. Her adult stem cells were harvested form the back of her hip, underwent the Regenexx- SD procedure and were implanted under X ray guidance into the CMC joint of her right hand. This hand stem cell procedure, resulted in her right hand gaining more function in one week than her left hand had in six months.
This is not to say that every patient undergoing this hand stem cell procedure will have the same result, but before we cut out bones, harvest tendons to create other things and replace joints, let’s explore simpler options first like we would with our car, our home or our sprinkler system. I for one was simply thankful to have been the second mechanic that day.