How a stem cell treatment was the key to healing after 30 years of restless nights with painful knees
Laura Milano, of North Canton, was used to life with painful knees. A 57-year-old special education paraprofessional, Laura’s knees had bothered her since she was in her 20s. As far back as 1980, she was told she would need a knee replacement, but to hold off as long as she could.
Laura took over the counter pain meds and tried vitamins such as Glucosamine/Chondroitin. She made sure to avoid any high impact knee movements to protect her knees and maintained a daily ice therapy regimen. Still, her knees would get swollen and painful at the end of the day and keep her awake at night.
“I was having my knee drained and cortisone injections every three months for about a year,” Laura said. In August 2017, Laura had an arthroscopic procedure to remove cartilage that had broken off and was floating around her knee, causing stabbing pain. “After they removed it, they told me I didn’t have any cartilage left on the medial condyle of my femur. I asked what could be done, and they told me nothing at this time. I asked about joint lubrication or if I could regrow the cartilage and they told me they do not do anything like that at their office. That is when I decided I had to do my own research.”
Laura found Regen Orthopedics and scheduled a consultation with Reuben Gobezie, MD. “I was doing research and wanted to educate myself on my options,” Laura said. “I chose Dr. Gobezie because he was only an hour away and a Harvard Medical School grad.”
Regenerative medicine treatments can activate your own adult stem cells to help speed the repair of bone, muscle, joint, soft tissue and nerve injuries. It stimulates previously damaged tissue to regain structure and recover, assisting the body’s own healing process. We all have regenerative cells that act as the body’s repairmen. These cells are often found within adipose connective fat tissue and bone marrow. Since the cells are collected from a patient’s own tissue, they do not pose a threat for rejection when transplanted to the injured site.
“Dr. Gobezie and his staff are wonderful. As soon as I walked in, I felt comfortable,” she said. “He provides you all the information and was easy to understand.” Dr. Gobezie is founding director of both Regen Orthopedics and Cleveland Shoulder Institute and one of the most highly regarded orthopedic surgeons in the US.
Laura decided to go forward with the procedure on both knees and has made great progress since. She no longer has to take NSAIDS for pain regularly. Her mobility has improved, and she is able to walk long distances without swelling.
“My ah-ha moment came during a trip to St Louis,” Laura said. “We spent a few days walking the city and I didn’t have any swelling or have to take NSAIDS after walking! My sisters kept asking me how my knees felt. I told them I was fine. I almost couldn’t believe it myself. I had a four-month appointment with Dr. Gobezie the day after we got back. I was so excited to tell him ‘Look! No swelling!’ Needless to say, I was elated.”
Laura now exercises on an elliptical trainer and practices yoga without pain. She is able to sleep through the night without waking up with aching knees.
“When I take the stairs, I no longer have to hold on for dear life. I’m not thinking about my knees every day. I don’t have to. I’m feeling so much better and my day to day life has improved immensely. I’m no longer sitting on the couch after a long day icing my knees.”
“More and more patients are looking for ways to avoid ongoing steroid injection treatments or surgery, and regenerative medicine can be an excellent alternative,” explains Dr. Gobezie. “Although not all patients are candidates, we offer consultations to explore the best treatment plan for each patient.”
“I have recommended Regen to quite a few people,” Laura said. “I tell them Dr. Gobezie will be honest with you as to the outcome you can expect and the importance of using your own stem cells. Don’t be fooled by those offices that are using stem cells from other sources, you can use your own. Do your research, educate yourself, and go see Dr. Gobezie.”
To find out if you are a candidate for regenerative therapy, call 844-STM-CELL (844-786-2355) to schedule an initial consultation. Regen Orthopedics is in Beachwood.