Can a Mucoid ACL be Helped with Stem Cells? What the Heck is that?

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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mucoid acl

A mucoid ACL sounds more like the product of a bad cold than it does a degenerated ligament in the knee. This problem has few surgical solutions, so can it benefit from knee stem cell injections? Joe is a 70 year old man first seen in 2012 for left knee stiffness and pain due to a degenerated knee ACL ligament. Now he’s almost two years out from that injection and reporting excellent relief!

While Joe had some scattered arthritis, he exemplifies why Regenexx is different. The real cause of his problems never would have been identified by another provider, let alone treated by placing stem cells precisely into that structure. Joe had a “mucoid ACL”. The ACL ligament is a key stabilizer of the knee. In Joe, through the years, the fibers of that ligament had become very worn and stretched. The ligament became loose and degenerated because the natural stem cells in the area that could maintain and fix small amounts of damage became fewer in number. So through the years the accumulated and unrepaired damage caused the ligament to become frayed and stretched out. Joe also found himself in a weird spot with treatment. While a few novel surgical therapies exist, no surgeon would be willing to replace his ACL due to his age and yet his knee cartilage didn’t look bad enough for a knee replacement.

How was Joe treated? Rather than placing his own stem cells willy nilly in the joint in a blind procedure or just inside the joint in a guided one, his ACL was targeted with an x-ray guidance technique we developed. The placement of the cells is very precise, i.e. if you’re off by a fraction of an inch in the wrong direction, the cells will never make it to the ACL to help the struggling ligament.

How is that knee doing almost 2 years out from that procedure? His ligament is no longer lax on exam (in fact it feels normal on physical exam) and he reports 90% relief. Yesterday he came in because now he’s two years older and has developed the same problem on the right side. No surgeries for Joe, he wants Regenexx-SD on the other side now!

The upshot? Joe exemplifies what sets Regenexx apart – precise diagnosis and precise cell placement using next generation autologous biologic therapies. Joe’s mucoid ACL is doing great and his knee pain is dramatically better. Our goal now is help his other knee through precise injections and without surgery!

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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Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
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Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

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Hip injuries and degenerative conditions become more common with age. Do to the nature of the joint, it’s not quite as easy to injure as a knee, but it can take a beating and pain often develops over time. Whether a hip condition is acute or degenerative, regenerative procedures can help reduce pain and may help heal injured tissue, without the complications of invasive surgical hip procedures.

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