Can We Treat Knee Arthritis with Stem Cells?

by Chris Centeno, MD /

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 knee arthritis stem cell

We often get nice e-mails from former patients whom we have treated with stem cells. Many of them tell stories of new found or regained activity. In fact, a common theme that runs through our patients is that they have hit that time in life when what they want to do and what they can do are out of whack. They’re also frustrated with the modern orthopedic surgery mantra of “cut it out” because judging by the results of prior surgeries, that approach hasn’t worked. So can we effectively treat knee arthritis with stem cells? Perhaps that story is better told by a former State Senator from Arizona.

Robert Blendu is the former President Pro-Tem of the Arizona State Senate. He was first seen by Dr. Schultz in May of 2014 with a one and a half year history of knee pain due to arthritis. His MRI showed severe medial compartment osteoarthritis, meniscus extrusions, and ligament laxity. In September of last year he had the Regenexx-SD knee stem cell procedure and after a rough start (he had a short-term flare up of inflammation right after the procedure), he sent us this recent e-mail:

“Dr. Schultz, This is Robert Blendu. I received your stem cell procedure in my right knee in 9/14.  I am very satisfied with the results.

I started Tai Chi in 3/15. I go at least 4x a wk. I have been very careful not to do anything counterproductive. I am able to perform all movements.

I just wanted to thank you for what you have done for me. You are a great, caring Doctor.

I think you and your patients would benefit greatly by getting involved in Tai Chi. It is non-impact mentally calming activity. It promotes circulation and the medical benefits are well documented.

Thank You again

Robert Blendu

PS I was the Senator from Arizona.”

The upshot? Robert, like many of our patients, frames his improvement from his knee arthritis stem cell treatment in terms of activity, in this case Tai Chi. This is something that many patients do, whether it be biking, hiking, skiing, running, or whatever. They’re back to what helps clear their mind and keeps their body going. In fact, trying to get people active again or keeping them active as they age is what we do here at Regenexx! Here’s to many more years of Tai Chi for Robert with his own knee instead of a foreign piece of metal!

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2 thoughts on “Can We Treat Knee Arthritis with Stem Cells?

  1. Richard

    What is Tai Chi. I have pain in both knees. Should I be doing this exercise now??

    1. Regenexx Team

      Richard,
      Tai Chi is a discipline of slow controlled movement with relaxation and deep breathing based on what was originally a martial art from 13th century China. Some people have found it helpful in reducing stress, improving balance and mobility, and strengthening leg muscles, and apparently this patient did. We’re not recommending Tai Chi, though exercise is one of those things that’s generally very good for you. Exercise can also be contraindicated however, and general health and painful knees should be evaluated before beginning any exercise regime.

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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