Ferrari Race Car Driver Opts for Meniscus Stem Cell Treatment

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!

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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!

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. View Profile

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NOTE: 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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