Orthopedics 2.0-Managing Knee Instability Before Stem cells

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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knee acl surgery alternative

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!

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 Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

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Knees are the target of many common sports injuries. Sadly, they are also the target of a number of surgeries that research has frequently shown to be ineffective or minimally effective. Knee arthritis can also be a common cause for aging athletes to abandon the sports and activities they love. Regenerative procedures can be used to treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. They can even be used to reduce pain and delay knee replacement for more severe arthritis.

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Spine

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.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
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Hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and conditions relating to overuse of the thumb, are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
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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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Foot & Ankle

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes. These injuries can often benefit from non-surgical regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
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