We’ve been treating knee ACL tears for quite a while now with only a precise injection of stem cells. This procedure has shown some very impressive before and after results as well as the MRI images to match. Last week, without our knowledge, a high school athlete that we had treated was featured in his local paper in a nice story. When I saw the story, I tweeted it and boy did that get some orthopedics surgeons pissy!
The patient is Demetrius Miller, an all around star athlete in Pueblo, a small community south of Colorado Springs. Dr. Schultz first saw Demetrius about two weeks after his injury and he delivered a very precise injection of the patient’s own stem cells into the ACL tear in November. He’s due for follow-up imaging and exam soon.
The fact that we treated this high school athlete’s torn ACL with a Knee ACL Stem Cell procedure allowing him to avoid surgery has become pretty routine for our clinic, as we have observed many partial and full thickness tears heal on MRI after an ultra-precise injection of stem cells. Having said that, ACL surgery is like a sacred cow crossing the road in India to many orthopedic surgeons. The idea that 70-80% of surgeries could be replaced by a non-surgical technique that shows objective MRI evidence of healing is blasphemy to many. Hence, the surgical Twitteratti’s explosion on Friday. One surgeon, went so far as to say that while stem cells would have a role in orthopedic care, we were using this too soon, not of course knowing that we had published 30% of the world’s orthopedic literature on stem cells based on patient’s treated. Also not knowing that we have submitted this ACL research work for publication and have self-funded a randomized controlled trial. I think what he was implying was that the pace of innovation was moving too fast for him.
The upshot? First, we wish Demetrius the best, because at the end of the day, if he can avoid the need for a surgical reconstruction and still heal his own ACL, he’ll likely be far better off as an athlete in college and beyond! Second, we have little doubt that our little ultra-precise stem cell injection technique will piss off more surgeons before they finally relent and join the fray, but heck, we’ve never been shy before, so why would we start now?