JS is a 43 year old who I have seen for may years to treat low back pain from a car accident about 10 years ago. We settled into a pattern of treating his low back disc bulge and nerve root irritation (lumbar radiculopathy / sciatica) with steroid epidurals 3-4 times a year. Using these treatments, he would get temporary relief lasting a few weeks to a few months, but he still needed to take narcotics. More recently, with the passage of Colorado’s medical marijuana law, he became my only patient (out of about 1,000 active patients) that I trusted enough to fill out his state form. He thus transitioned from narcotics to medical marijuana, which helped, but left him a bit “unfocused”. Finally, 9 months ago, he wanted off this treadmill and had seem some of the success we were having with implanting the patient’s own stem cells into the low back discs to treat disc bulges. He signed up for that procedure and was a GOOD-FAIR candidate. Nine months later, he was seen this morning and has had a dramatic reduction in his pain and increase in his function. He also dramatically reduced his medical marijuana, which was clear just from speaking with him. He doesn’t need epidurals at this point and told me he has increased his work hours by 25% as an accountant. He also just spent his recent vacation jet skiing through 9 foot swells. I think JS is a good story to tell, because unlike many other patients who we see for stem cell injections into the lumbar discs, I have personally had extensive history with him. I knew what worked to manage his pain and saw that I could help, but only in short spurts and little bits. While we able to keep him away from surgery before the stem cells, it was only through repetitive procedures and tons of medication that reduced his ability to earn a living. After the procedure, he’s a different patient.
(Please note, this patient was treated with the Regenexx-C cultured stem cell procedure and not Regenexx-SD. While Regenexx-SD does rely on the same stem cell type that was used to treat these patients and other clinics have reported good results using similar procedures that don’t rely on stem cell culturing, Regenexx-SD clinical effectiveness has not yet been established. As always, not every low back disc bulge patient would be expected to respond as well as JS.)