Hiking Knee Pain: Summiting 5 Peaks in 5 Hours

by Chris Centeno, MD /

hiking knee pain

Can you summit 5 peaks in 5 hours with hiking knee pain? Chris is a local physical therapist who is “Boulder Active”- more on that later. He’s had a bevy of issues that face us all as we try to coax our aging bodies to do what we used to do. He’s a great example of our ProActive program – i.e. what we do as preventative maintenance to keep aging athletes in the game!

His big issue of late was his knee MCL ligament as well as chronic irritated low back nerves. The MCL ligament is an important stabilizer of the inside of the knee and acts like a piece of duct tape that prevents the knee from collapsing inward. Many aging athletes have lax knee ligaments due to years of abuse. God forbid an orthopedic surgeon happens to see a meniscus tear on an MRI (that’s just a sign of normal aging), as the patient often winds up with an unnecessary surgery leading to an inevitable activity killing knee replacement. Thankfully, Chris didn’t go that route, instead he opted for the Regenexx-SCP procedure where we injected his super concentrated platelets under precise ultrasound guidance to help tighten and heal the MCL ligament rather than surgery. We then finished that off with ligament tightening injections (prolo). We also isolated the growth factors from his platelets and used those to naturally reduce the swelling around his irritated low back nerves through precise image guided injections.

Next, it’s probably helpful to define, “Boulder Active”. A quick search of Boulder, Colorado on Trip Advisor says it all:

“A city full of superheroes? Boulder, Colorado seems to be the place for the extremely physically fit, drawing those who love the outdoors to its 30,000 acres of unspoiled land, 200 miles of trails, and city-center paths and rivers.”

Finally, I received this e-mail from Chris this past week and got his permission to share it:

“Chris, I thought about you a lot yesterday as I worked/ suffered my way through this years training goal. I wanted to send you a heart felt thank you for patching me back together these past few years. This recent MCL prolo has allowed me to beginning running and hiking at levels I haven’t achieved since my early 30’s. Right now, as I approach 50, I needed an Epic goal to work toward. I achieved it yesterday with the skyline traverse. All 5 front range peaks, 16.5 Miles of single track, 6300 feet of elevation in under 5 hours. I made it in 4:45. No speed record but a solid push from an old broken athlete. My knee and leg held up well! I promise to keep these types of loads on my joint system to a reasonable level but am psyched to be pushing my boundaries again after all the injuries and set backs. Thank you and your staff for all that you do. I am a very satisfied patient.
Your friend,

Chris West”

The upshot? First, note that the USA today article link on the “Skyline Traverse” above says it takes 9-12 hours, so it’s a testimony to “Boulder Active” that Chris did it in under 5! We’ve kept many “Boulder Active” patients involved in high level athletics using precise injections of our advanced platelet and stem cell preparations. For more on how this “ProActive” program might help you, read my book on the topic. I’m thankful that we could keep Chris on top of Colorado’s mountains!

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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