What Happens When You Take Medications That Hurt Ligament Stem Cells?
Dr. Hanson was featured this week on Denver Channel 7 news for helping a patient with severe tendon degeneration with prolotherapy-a treatment that can help ligaments heal. This unfortunate patient had taken the Quinolone antibiotics Cipro and Lavaquin to treat an infection caused by surgery. Regrettably these antibiotics have been associated with serious tendon ruptures. I blogged yesterday on research showing that ligaments have their own stem cells. What happens when you take medications that hurt ligament stem cells? Well, that’s what likely happens with the Quinolones who are also known to injure tendon cells. Without the stem cell “repairmen” to maintain the ligaments and repair small amounts of wear and tear damage, the tendons eventually weaken or fail, causing tendinopathy or tendon rupture. What’s more concerning is that we’ve seen numerous medications hurt mesenchymal stem cells in culture, meaning that this effect may be present in more drugs than just these antibiotics. The upshot? If your tendons have been damaged by taking these dangerous antibiotics, consider biologic options. The simplest biologic and still the original (going back to the 1940’s) is prolotherapy. While all patients with this dreaded disease may not get these results, we’re proud to be able to help this patient.