Ferrari Race Car Driver Opts for Meniscus Stem Cell Treatment

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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I’ve always had a special place in my 15-year-old heart for Ferrari red, so it’s fun to have a real Ferrari race car driver as a patient of Regenexx. It’s also great that as the evidence base for meniscus surgery crumbles, new noninvasive ways, like our meniscus stem cell treatment, are pioneered. Martin’s story will help illustrate all of that nicely.

The Problems with Meniscus Surgery

Meniscus surgery is a mess. It’s been a several-hundred-billion-dollar surgical boondoggle over the last 40 years. Meaning we thought that cutting out torn pieces of this important shock absorber was a good idea, but now study after study on meniscus surgery shows it doesn’t work and that billions upon billions have been wasted. That will come as a surprise to many patients with meniscus tears as despite the scientific evidence that it doesn’t work, it’s still the most common elective orthopedic surgery. Got to love American medicine!

Martin’s Story

First, Martin has a very cool job! He gets paid to drive a Ferrari insanely fast around a racetrack! For me, seeing his car reach 180-plus on those straights brings out my inner 15-year-old. I still remember going with my dad to an exotic car show at that age, and I know the visceral feeling these machines bring out in a kid. Heck, I still get that same feeling watching this video today—suffice it to say that while I love what I do, this is one of those jobs that I’d love to try, even if I came in last!

Martin was first seen by Dr. Bashir in July of last year after injuring his knee meniscus while jumping. Given our policy of treating the whole person. Dr. Bashir also noted that his low back had problems as well—likely a part of the reason he developed knee issues. His MRI showed a tear of the posterior-medial part of the meniscus and a sprain of one of the hamstrings tendons that feeds into the meniscus. He also had disc bulges in his low back, so Dr. Bashir used ultra-precise injections of Martin’s own stem cells into the meniscus tears as well as image-guided low back injections of his growth factors isolated from his blood platelets (our fourth-generation platelet lysate).

The results of the meniscus stem cell treatment are apparent above! He’s now back to running big mileage and leading the series in points for Ferrari! All without any surgery. In addition, for someone like Martin, his recovery was minimal compared to surgery, so he was able to get back to driving and working out much more quickly.

The upshot? Martin is a great example of how it’s time to replace an outdated concept of operating on the knee meniscus with precise image-guided stem cells derived from the patient’s own body. He’s also an example of how we strive to treat the whole patient—not just the knee. For example, his low back issues were likely an important part of why his knee failed. After all, it’s all one machine—meaning that your body is no less complex and interconnected than the Ferrari that Martin drives. If one part begins to go bad, it impacts others, which is why Martin and company have a team of experts combing over that car before every race and fixing all issues in the whole machine! As for Martin, just like for you, having the machine fail at a critical time is not an option!

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6 thoughts on “Ferrari Race Car Driver Opts for Meniscus Stem Cell Treatment

  1. Shahab Shamsi

    Dr.Chris:
    I just wondered if Regnexx will ever start doing trials on peripheral neuropathy that most hit people with nerve burning in the foot, calf and hamstring. So is mostly cutaneous nerve sensory issues with no clear pathology on the MRI. I am coming to Regnexx for my ON treatment but I wanted you to think about this as this could benefit a lof of suffer.
    Best Prof. Shahab A. Shamsi, Georgia State Univ, Atlanta, GA 30303.

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Shahab,

      Peripheral neuropathy usually doesn’t present that way, as your issues sound like irritation of the S1 nerve. I would wager there are findings on your MRI that explain this-they were just missed by the reading radiologist.

  2. Mark

    Dr. Centeno,
    When you are treating the lumbar spine with platelet lysate and PRP for degeneration/disc bulges and arthritis in the joints, what is the time frame between injections when multiple injection sets are recommended ?
    Thanks,
    Mark

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Mark,

      Those decisions are made on a case by case basis.

  3. Mark

    Ok. Do you know the approximate cost when doing both the PRP and platelet lysate at the same time on multiple levels of the lumbar spine?
    Thanks for the great info on the blog!
    Mark

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Mark,

      Have you been through the Regenexx Candidacy Evaluation? We ask because treatment plans are based initially on a Candidacy eval, and ultimately on a exam and customized to the patient and their medical history.

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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