In my last post I talked about how I avoided another knee surgery by using an alternative treatment called Regenexx SD. Essentially the procedure extracts stem cells from my hips and injects them into my right knee. This was back in February and since that time, I have had some requests for another update. So this post is to report on my follow-up with Dr. Centeno since having the treatment.
Current StatusA couple of weeks ago I had my first follow-up with Dr. Centeno since I had the Regenexx treatment back in early February. It had been seven weeks since the treatment and everything is going extremely well. I've been doing cycling workouts as well as various core workouts lately to get back into shape for the cycling season (the foam roller is my personal masseuse right now). The day before my appointment, I had just started running two to three times a week. I'm also coaching my youngest daughter's soccer team again which requires running, kicking, etc. So far I'm happy to report that I have no pain during these sports at all. This is great news because it means that the tears in the meniscus are doing very well as a result of the procedure. The only issue I have currently is some stiffness of the muscles around and through the right knee which were preventing me from doing a deep squat on that knee. This is a result of my mental guarding of that knee to protect it. At the urging of Dr. Centeno and my physical therapist, I started squatting deeper and deeper a little at a time to stretch it and get it used to regular full motion. I have already found that this continued stretching and squatting is helping that along nicely, even just in the last couple weeks.
Dr. Centeno also performed the standard Lachman test on my right knee. To even his surprise, it was quite tight and responded very well. As a point of comparison, he also tested my left knee (the one that has never been injured) and it is very loose. It was so loose, in fact, that I could see the dislocation. Again, even he was surprised. So he tried my right knee again and he really tugged on it, but still it wouldn't budge. Because I was also diagnosed with a partial tear to the ACL, this was wonderful news! It means that the procedure has changed the state of the the ACL as well. We were both very happy to see this level of progress. I guess it was wonderful news for my right knee (the one that had the Regenexx treatment), but not so good news for my left knee. After this demonstration, I explained the stiffness in the left knee that has been increasing over the years. I had even been joking that perhaps I should have the Regenexx treatment on my left knee after the right knee is all healed up. So I'm having a MRI on my left knee to see what's going on with it. Depending on what we find, I am seriously considering the Regenexx treatment for my left knee as well. This is a testament to the results that I have experienced from the Regenexx treatment. I'm not sure if I will have it right away or not. I've got come cycling events coming up in June, so I would need to have it done really soon if I'm going to keep up my workouts in preparation for those events.
Continued Physical Therapy + SupplementsNot only am I continuing with some minor physical therapy to loosen my right patella but I am also continuing to take doses of a chondroitin/glucosamine supplement and a hyaluronic acid supplement twice a day. (The Collagen II contains the protein building blocks to support damaged cartilage and the hyaluronic acid lubricates the joints and helps to prevent free radicals from destroying healthy cartilage.) Additionally, last week I began a series of IMS (Intra-Muscular Stimulation) treatments for some muscles in my hamstrings, quads, IT bands and lower back. IMS is essentially deep tissue acupuncture to create micro-damage in key muscles to encourage them to heal themselves. It will take a few more treatments before I see some distinct results, but I'm hoping that this will dovetail well with the core workouts, yoga and cycling that I do.
Regenerative MedicineI have a friend who sells surgical tools and equipment. One tool he's selling now is a laser that is used to create micro-damage in very specific locations of the human heart. Just like what Dr. Centeno did with my knee, such micro-damage causes red blood cells to respond to heal the area (i.e., encouraging the body to heal itself). This creates an ideal situation for the injection of stem cells to grow new tissue in place of damaged tissue. He told me that they do this procedure for patients who have chronic heart disease and in some cases they can double the heart's ability to pump blood. For some patients, this translates into adding years to their life. So when I mentioned this procedure for my knee to him, he immediately knew what I was describing and told me that regenerative medicine is the new wave. So, in my opinion, the FDA better wake up and embrace the future and stop playing favorites with big pharma. Here's some interesting info on the lawsuit against stem cells from the FDA:
- Former FDA Commissioner on our “Your Cells=Drugs” Case
- Texas Medical Board puts Rules around Stem Cell Use
- FDA: Your Body is a Drug and We want to Regulate It
- More on “Your Body is a Drug”
According to my doctor, my verall my progress has been excellent and, at this point, I couldn't be happier that I chose the Regenexx procedure vs. surgery. Now tomorrow I have an MRI on my left knee to begin the possible pursuit of the same regimen of treatment for my left knee. Stay tuned.