Knee Stem Cell Injection: Joe Young Conquers Chronic Pain

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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Chronic pain changes who you are is perhaps the one statement we hear more often than anything else. Whether it’s in the knee, hip, back, shoulder, or some other area of the musculoskeletal system, chronic pain can be debilitating, and many people get to the point where they feel surgery is the only option. Joe was one of those people, but thankfully a concerned physical-therapist friend intervened with our website and the notion of something very different — a knee stem cell injection.

Let me introduce you to Joe and tell you more about his debilitating chronic knee pain.

Meet Joe Young

Joe’s story begins back in 2002 when he was in a car accident. Following the accident, his knee began to bother him when he would run, and over time this pain became worse. Fast forward 14 years, and Joe, now a 43-year-old father of three, was in so much pain he could barely walk and couldn’t conquer a set of steps without leaning on a cane. Sleep medication, though not super helpful, was his best chance at getting a little sleep at night. Joe wanted to be involved in his kids’ activities, but in the video, he shares, “The pain that I was dealing with prohibited me from participating in any meaningful way. I basically had to sit there. I was the guy who had to limp down to the field, plop down in a chair, and just watch.”

It was this inability to participate in his kids’ activities and the realization that his quality of life had deteriorated so drastically due to his  chronic knee pain that finally led Joe to take action. He went to see one of the best orthopedic surgeons in Ohio.

Joe Considers Partial Knee Replacement

While Joe was too young to undergo a total knee replacement, the surgeon offered to do a partial knee replacement. Joe, thinking this was finally the solution to his chronic pain, was ecstatic and shared the news with his physical-therapist friend. His friend, wisely, didn’t share his excitement and told Joe to rethink the surgery. He explained to Joe that knee replacements, even partial ones, can cause other problems. He also was concerned about Joe having the surgery at such a young age, knowing that a revision surgery, if it was even possible, would be in his future.

In fact, in knee replacement patients aged 55 and younger, a stunning 15% will undergo revisions within five years due to a failed knee replacement. Again, this includes partial knee replacements in younger patients. Younger patients are also more dissatisfied with their knee replacements than older patients and complain of more pain and faster deterioration of the artificial joint.

Joe’s friend knew about Regenexx and shared our website with him.

Joe’s Knee Stem Cell Injection Story

After browsing the testimonials of patients right here on this blog, Joe found Marc J. Adelsheimer, MD, in Pittsburgh, who, after performing an extensive examination, determined that Joe was a candidate for a same-day stem cell procedure.

Joe received his knee stem cell injection using his body’s stem cells in February of 2016. Two days later, he received a PRP injection to help fertilize the stem cells. For years, Joe envisioned having to walk his daughters down the wedding aisle one day using a walker. Now, he’s not just sitting on the sidelines watching life pass him by; he’s on the field kicking a soccer ball with his son, a dream he never thought would be possible. Seriously, watch the video—you have to see it in Joe’s words and actions to fully grasp the power of his story.

The upshot? Dr. Adelsheimer liked to joke with Joe that he was just an ordinary Joe—like most who struggle with chronic pain, Joe was just seeking to improve his quality of life. He wasn’t looking to compete in IRONMAN or save his NFL career, he just wanted to be the best husband and father he could be and to be involved more actively in his children’s lives. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? Not to be sidelined as life passes us by…

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2 thoughts on “Knee Stem Cell Injection: Joe Young Conquers Chronic Pain

  1. ANANT N. MAUSKAR

    I had un successful knee replacement surgery done about 7 months ago.Can PRP and /or mesenchymal stem cell therapy help me? I read people like Tiger Woods and others who had failed knee surgeries done got better with alternate treatment , which I believe was PRP and MSC treatment. Let me know your opinion. I am a physician and had the surgery done by a surgeon I knew well in a hospital I used to admit my patients. I also had extensive rehab for 1 month for PT and OT after the surgery.Thanks.

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      ANANT,
      Many of our knee paients have had prior surgery: meniscus, acl, etc. The issue with a knee replacement is there is no longer a biological joint to treat. We can take a look and see if there are any tendon, ligament or low back nerves negatively impacting your recovery,

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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