From Chronic Knee Pain to IRONMAN® – A Regenexx Stem Cell Patient’s Story

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The term “Iron man” has many connotations – the movie character, a solid constitution, or a 20-something super fit person who rides, swims, and runs for hours on end. Michelle is a weekend warrior, who like many of us loves to run and ride her bike. But a knee meniscus surgery left her struggling with constant knee pain for many years and ended her ability to run. When she was presented with a choice to get a knee replacement at a relatively young age and likely end her dream of finishing the IRONMAN® race, or try to use the patented Regenexx stem cell procedure to avoid the surgery, she chose Regenexx.

Documentary film-maker Doug Orchard has captured her story brilliantly! Enjoy!

This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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24 thoughts on “From Chronic Knee Pain to IRONMAN® – A Regenexx Stem Cell Patient’s Story

  1. Joseph

    I see a lot of successful knee outcomes and that is great.Have there been any improvements in hip outcomes

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      We’ve had many great hip outcomes! Severe hip arthritis, however, remains more difficult to treat and sometimes requires our cultured procedure.

  2. Kenneth

    Is this covered by regular insurance?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      No insurance covers stem cell procedures in the United States. Though there is more peer reviewed published research on the effectiveness of these procedures than the surgeries they replace, the Insurance Industry still considers them experimental.

  3. muriel schnierow

    what about my shoulder????muriel
    [email protected]

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Here is how we treat shoulders:

  4. Pat

    I had a stem cell procedure 4 months ago and I feel it is a great treatment for my knee which always hurt before and now it just keeps getting stronger

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Great to hear! Thanks so much for the update!

  5. Keely Lindsey

    I would love to try this but can’t get an appointment in my area!

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Where are you located? While we have 31 locations in the States, not yet in every state. Regenexx is incredibly selective…

  6. Elle

    I have bad knees both legs and planning to do knee replacement end of this year. Can this help me or is it too far gone for me?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Dean already shared his experience eloquently. We’ve certainly helped many, many people in your situation, whether we can help specifically in yours depends on many factors. If you would like to chat with one of our Docs about your situation specifically, please fill out the Regenexx Candidate Form on this page:

  7. Alina Fox

    I have bakers cysts behind both knees and a torn miniscus on one knee with osteo arthritis in both. Is it possible to heal the cysts, and miniscus if given the Regenexx proceedure? Oh, and by the way I am an otherwise healthy senior citizen..

    Thank you!

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      All of those issues are things we regularly treat. Here is some info on how we treat knee OA, Meniscus tears and Baker’s Cysts:

  8. Dean

    Elle – I was diagnosed in Aug 2015 as needing knee replacement on both knees. My MRI showed I had no cartilage and meniscus tears in both knees, primarily the result of arthritis the rigors of many hours of sports. I had had both knees “scoped” within the previous 4 years and was told there no other choice but to have surgery to fix the problem. The first article I read on knee replacement used the word “amputation” in describing the knee replacement procedure. I knew right then I was going to work hard to find an alternative. A co-worker informed me about stem cell regenerative surgery. I began researching it and was impressed by the fact so many highly paid professional athletes had used it to aid in recovering form their injuries. If multi-billion dollar sports franchises used this procedure for their multi-million dollar assets then there I felt there was definitely a lot of merit to it. However, what I found was, it’s not the procedure that makes the difference, it’s the doctor performing the procedure and the particular protocol he/she follows. I decided to use a doctor trained under the Regenexx protocol (Dr. Movva in Tulsa, OK) and I am truly amazed at the success I have experienced. I had both knees injected with my stem cells and topped off with PRP on Oct 13, 2015. I am back to my full workouts (5 strength and 3 cardios per week) and pain free. For the first time in years I am able to live a fully functioning life and not having to compromise any activity. I strongly suggest you forego the “amputation” route and treat your knee problem with Regenexx stem cell surgery.

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Thank you for your reply to Elle. There is a delay and we don’t see posts for at least 24 hours. I will share some info with her, but statistics and outcome info couldn’t have answered the question better!

  9. Joni

    What if you have already done a replacement – could you still be a candidate for Regenexx stem cell?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      After a joint replacement, there is no longer a biological joint to treat. We can help with other things, like lower back nerves etc. that affect lower extremities and are sometimes the actual pain generators that resulted in joint replacement, but not the prosthesis that is in place of the joint. Of course we can treat other joints.

  10. Gustavo

    I would like to know the cost os this procedure for both knees, if possible.
    Thank you.

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      That would depend on what is needed, as these are medical procedures, based on exam. The average range per knee is approx. $1500 for our platelet procedures which are enough for some, and approx.$5,500 for knee stem cell procedures. If enough stem cells can be harvested in one bone marrow aspiration (which is possible but less likely in patients over 50), then both knees can be done at once for a reduced cost.

  11. Gustavo

    Thank you for the reply. Is this cost per knee ($5,500)?
    Thank you again,

  12. Bob Bradley

    I have been following your Regenexx procedure for the last year and find it very compelling. I played high school and college football and for the past 30 years played tennis 2x weekly. I have been thru a “Scope” on each knee over the past 3 years which really set me back and I am now considering your treatments. However, it seems that most of the positive feedback which I hear from your patients and your followup reporting provides “patient opinions” and based on how they “feel” and what is their comparable “pain level” after the treatment as your measurement of success. What I am not seeing is any compilation of statistical “before and after” xrays of the joint, showing actual rebuilding of the joint/meniscus.

    Your Iron-Man Success Story indicates that the patient was able to participate without pain, but it does not empirically indicate that her meniscus had “regenerated” by 25% and now provides a strong cushion between her joints.

    What am I missing? Can you direct me to this data if I have overlooked it?


  13. Klara

    Does Regenexx work for Chondromalacia gr.1-2 both knees? and for Hoffa’s syndrome?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Chondromalacia is something we treat regularly. Figuring out and treating what’s causing the tracking issue which caused the problem in the first place is key. This patient outcome blog is about a patient with similar issues. This is a video update on the same patient: The Hoffa’s Syndrome is something we’d need to look at. If you’d like to have a chat with one of our physicians about your knee and have them take a look at your MRI to see how they feel they could help, please fill out the Regenexx Candidate Form on this page:

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