Can a knee stem cell injection help a severely degenerated knee? DS is a 50 year old woman who was first seen in April of 2011 for knee pain on both sides. In the early 90’s she had a torn ACL with a second tear in her meniscus and underwent surgery to treat both areas. She then needed a second arthroscopy to clean out the scarring from the first arthroscopy. After that she did well until about 2006 when she fell cross county skiing and had another cartilage tear and a third knee surgery. 3 months later she twisted her knee suddenly and had more cartilage tearing and was debrided again. Since then, for the preceeding 4 years before seeing us, she was in pain that prevented many activities. At that point she also suffered from recurrent swelling with anything more than flat walking. Dr. Hanson diagnosed her with an extruded meniscus which was also small from multiple surgical debridements. In addition she also had a lax ACL, patellar tendinosis, and a degenerated MCL. In April of 2011 she underwent the Regenexx-SCP procedure for the ligaments and tendons, -SD for the “good” knee where she had patellar chondromalacia, and a Regenexx-AD procedure for the extruded meniscus. Three months later she had another twisting episode and a set back that required a second round of treatments. So how is she doing at more than a year out form the second treatment? Her words below:
“My knees are doing awesome!! I haven’t had any lt. knee pain for 2 mo. now. I still get occasional pain in my rt. knee laterally – especially after walking on rough terrain (like the lava fields). But I still feel my rt. knee is 90% improved. I am rating my lt. knee at 95% improvement – if the lack of pain continues for the next few months I will bump that up to 100%. I am biking without any pain in either knee which is wonderful!
The upshot? Despite not being a good candidate and having multiple failed knee surgeries, an injection of her own same day stem cells seems to have done the trick for DS. We can’t rule out that she might not need update treatments and not everyone in DS’s state of knee disrepair can expect a result like hers. However, I’m quite sure she would have had little result without Dr. Hanson’s expert ability to diagnose multiple complex issues and treat those with various technologies through specific guided injections.
NOTE: Regenexx-SD, Regenexx-AD and Regenexx-SCP are medical procedures and like all medical procedures have a success and failure rate. Not all patients experience the same result.