Helping A Knee Patient with Stem Cells who had Failed Microfracture
JC is a 66 year old man who had a skiing accident in 1990’s which injured his knee. As a result of these injuries he both stopped skiing and playing raquetball/tennis. When he was first seen by our clinic last year to see if it was possible to avoid knee surgery for his knee arthritis, his knee pain level was a 6/10. He had already had a failed microfracture knee procedure, which is more common in patients over 45 years of age. He was lucky in that despite his severe arthritis, he did get temporary relief from an annual Synvisc injection. When he was seen in clinic, he reported to us that he had a recurrent Baker’s cyst that would get worse as he exercised and on his exam it was clear his ACL ligament was loose. His MRI showed severe arthritis which included severe degeneration of the ACL ligament with chronic partial tearing, severe medial osteoarthritis (bone on bone), complete radial tear of the posterior medial meniscus which was extruded and outside the joint. The patient was told he needed a knee replacement, but because of the risks and the complications he knew he needed to try something else first. Despite only being a POOR-FAIR candidate for a knee stem cell procedure, he had a Regenexx-SD procedure in October 2010/Jan 2011/March 2011. He reported to us last week, that at 5 months out from his last injection of stem cells, that his knee was 90% better. He also reported improvements in walking distance, pain and range of motion. In this case, we’re pleasantly surprised by the fact that JC responded so well despite severe arthritis. Like many patients with a loose ACL, tightening that ligament with injections as part of the Regenexx-SD process may have made all the difference.