When Stem Cells Fail…

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when stem cells fail

For transparency, as promised yesterday, I decided to blog on a case treated with the Regenexx-C stem cell that didn’t respond. I also want to give fair play to the concept that a stem cell procedure ins’t magic and sometimes doesn’t help. In this case, the patient was treated 2 years ago and this report is from his two year follow-up. As I have said in the past, we track all of our patients in a proprietary database and have two full time employees dedicated to keeping track of and publishing this data. Unlike the successful patient from Qatar, he is a rancher from Australia. RP is 65 years old and had severe knee arthritis, unstable ligaments,  as well as elevated serum lipids. In addition a confounding factor was that his low back had a pinched nerve that was contributing to his knee pain (but not the sole cause). While he noticed some improvements in his shoulder rotator cuff he noted no improvements in the knee. It still swelled like it used to when carrying things or walking downhill. Was there a difference between these two patients? Yes, the non-responder had more severe arthritis. While the Regenexx-C procedure is less sensitive to severity (meaning that many patients with more severe arthritis generally do as well as patients with less severe arthritis), we believe that when the arthritis is very severe, it can make a difference. In addition, it’s also possible to be placed in the GOOD category and have the procedure not work. What other things have we seen that reduce the likelihood of success? A metabolic syndrome (high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and extra weight) and perscription medications (often used to treat the metabolic syndrome) are also two other things we feel that negatively impact outcome. In this case there was also an early metabolic syndrome. The upshot? We put all of the data out there when we have it and aren’t afraid to talk about the patients that fail treatment. We belive this transparency is an important part of developing a new medical procedure.

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.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
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  • And more
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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 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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