A year ago, I couldn’t walk without crutches.
A year ago, I was in so much pain that I truly was starting to believe that it’d never go away.
A year ago, I had to pace myself in everything that I did.
A year ago, I just wanted to be “normal” and walk… and perhaps have a day or two without pain.
A year has gone by and let me tell you – it flew.
I’ve had so many “wins” this past year, it makes my heart overflow with happiness when I think about it.
I know this post is coming a bit late (ok, so my one year anniversary was in March and the last update I posted was months 10 & 11), but I’ve been having some trouble with my hands lately. My psoriatic arthritis has been acting up and, since I’m back to work now, I have had to save my activities for work! Never the less, I have great news to share.
Stem Cell Update
In my one year follow-up, my MRI has shown that I have about 50-60% regeneration of my bone. THAT MEANS ALMOST 60% OF MY BONE HAS REGENERATED PEOPLE?! HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT.
Bone that so many health care professionals told me would never come back.
Bone that doctors told me I should just wait until it completely collapsed to have a knee replacement.
Bone that was dead.
I discussed with Dr. Pitts what my next course of action should be. In terms of my avascular necrosis, we agreed to leave it be for the time being. My biggest concern is future problems. I raised the concern that part of my bone is still dead – I wanted to see if he believed going in again would help regrow even more bone.
Of course it would help regrow more, but he believed that since I’m not having any symptoms, i.e. pain, swelling, burning, I can walk, etc, I should hold off. The option to inject more stem cells is always there, it’s not going anywhere. We agreed to wait another six months to a year to see how my bone progresses. You usually only see max benefit from the stem cell procedure about a year out, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t continue to help.
So for the time being, I’m leaving my avascular necrosis the way it is and continuing on with my life. Sure, there is still a part of my bone that is dead, but because I am not having any symptoms, and it’s not collapsing, I will leave it be.
I did raise concern about a clicking and catching that my knee has going on. It’s not a new issue, it’s been there for a while. Dr. Pitts said that I should have an orthopedic look at it. He would have looked at it, but he is in Colorado and I am in Pittsburgh!
Since we have a local Regenexx office here in Pittsburgh, I made an appointment with Dr. Lieber. Way back when, I had gone to this office, but they did not do the bone procedure that I needed done at that time. They currently now offer it as an option and are doing some miraculous work here in the Pittsburgh area.
I went to Dr. Lieber and, after looking at my MRI and examining my knee, he agreed that I should get a platelets procedure done. Why? Because my patella, a.k.a. my kneecap, is not tracking correctly. Using my own body’s healing mechanism, I can help strengthen the tendons and ligaments on the inside of my knee, which will then pull my kneecap to track correctly.
This isn’t a new issue, I’ve had many different braces throughout my life, and also gone to physical therapy many times, for this problem. Even just a few years back, I had a doctor put me in a brace for this exact issue.
Basically, Dr. Lieber would take my blood and spin it down to isolate the platelets. With those platelets, he would create the Regenexx super rich plasma injections to be injected into my knee. With exercise and physical therapy, those platelets will then help restore strength in the medial part of my knee.
I will be blogging on Rehabilitation And Pain Specialist’s blog about my procedure. Here are two videos I posted on my facebook page. I’ll update this post with a link once I publish my posts on the RAPS blog!
Day of the Blood Draw:
I’m so mad at myself because the video I took on the day of didn’t save on my phone and I lost it! 🙁
Day After The Treatment:
My Thoughts On Stem Cell Procedures
All in all, I’m extremely, extremely, extremely happy about my stem cell procedure outcome thus far.
Over the last year, I have met many other patients who have had Regenexx stem cell procedures. I’ve also met others who have tried other stem cell procedures/treatments, i.e. placenta injections, fat injections, etc.
And I will tell you this.
The patients who are using their own stem cells are getting above and beyond results.
Patients who are using placenta or embryonic stem cell injections, are having mixed results. Most of those mixed results being negative.
There is a lot of research out there that shows that these syringes of “stem cells” are not helpful because they don’t include any LIVE stem cells. Stem cells cannot live outside of the body for a long period of time.That’s why with a Regenexx procedure they’re injected back in within the same day to ensure that they stay alive and active!
These injections do include human growth factors within them, but that’s about it. Therefore, they are costing you are a pretty penny for something that you can get from just doing a PRP or platelets injection. I urge you to do a lot of research before you figure out your best option.
I will actually be speaking at a FDA hearing in September on the topic of stem cell procedures. I will be one of MANY there telling their stories. The hearing was supposed to have been this past fall, but because they had an overwhelming number of people who wanted to speak (over 600!) they moved it to a bigger location! I’m afraid that all of these doctors who are now offering “stem cell treatments” will ruin it for the rest of us. We NEED the FDA to realize that using our own stem cells is the most beneficial way to go about it and that we can’t lose access to our own stem cells.
My Overall Experience
I wholeheartedly believe in the Regenexx procedures. I would (and do) suggest it to anyone who has an orthopedic condition. Your only option is NOT surgery. There are many other alternatives out there that can help you and can even give you a better result.
I know that my Regenexx stem cell procedure was done because of avascular necrosis in my femur, but that’s not the only condition it can help. The majority of the Rehabilitation and Pain Specialist’s patients are older folks who are looking for alternatives to knee replacements.
My friend Joe (check out his blog here) said it perfectly. It’s like if you have a religious experience or something that really moves you. You feel like you need to tell the entire world about it because everyone should experience it.
That’s exactly how I feel about this procedure.
It’s helped me get my life back and so much more!
I’ll be forever grateful.
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!
Looking for more Regenexx related posts?
Monthly Recovery Posts: