Orthopedics 2.0-Managing Knee Instability Before Stem cells
Is it possible to help a severely arthritic knee with just a knee acl tear surgery alternative? Our philosophy is always to look at all aspects of what’s wrong with a knee. If you’ve read our practice’s e-book, Orthopedics 2.0, you know that we’re big believers in fixing instability before putting stem cells in a knee. This instability may not even be severe, but there may be enough knee ACL instability to cause a long-term drag on joint health. As an example, HH is a 58 year old woman first seen by us in January of this year. She had moderate to severe lateral compartment arthritis, but also a failing ACL graft from a prior knee surgery. As I’ve blogged on before, these knee ACL grafts are not like the original equipment. Since the ACL graft was severely degenerated, we didn’t know if it was possible to tighten it via injection, but thought it was worth a try using highly specific imaging guided injection techniques (see image above). This knee injection can’t be done accurately blind, nor can it be done accurately with ultrasound, but requires much more costly c-arm fluoroscopy. We’ve pioneered this technique and have gotten quite good at tightening loose ACL knee ligaments through a needle. The outcome? Even before stem cells and after just a few guided tightening injections, her ACL has gone from lax to tight and now she’s reporting 65% relief. Her pain is now more focused on where she has cartilage loss, so the next step is a Regenexx-C procedure. The upshot? Stem cells are a tool, not magic. If you have an unstable knee, they likely won’t help, so make sure someone carefully examines your knee for instability and fixes that issue before using stem cells on your knee!