Advanced stem cell therapy for chronic pain conditions allows return to normal activities
The arthritis pain was so excruciating in both of Susan Jasper’s knees she started limiting her trips up and down the stairs in her house to twice a day. She would come down in the morning, and not go back up until bed time. Even when the pain would subside from time to time, her knees would snap and pop. Her kids teased that there was no way she would ever be able to sneak up on them.
“My doctor told me that the arthritis in my knees had become so bad, that I would require a double knee replacement. He also told me that he would not perform the procedure unless I lost a little weight. So, I figured I would live with it,” she said. Susan could barely walk, let alone exercise. The former athlete had a high tolerance for pain, so she tolerated it the best she could.
At the time of the diagnosis, Susan and her husband were unable to hike in the Metroparks or take trips where long amounts of hiking were involved due to her mobility issues. A fall on the ice sent her to an urgent care facility. Her injuries were nothing serious, but the physician assistant suggested she consult with Dr. Gobezie for regenerative medicine, a non-surgical, outpatient therapy for both her knees.
The treatment helps to 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. She consulted with Dr. Gobezie who recommended the procedure for both her knees.
“Dr. Gobezie immediately put me at ease. He is so kind, and explained everything so well,” she says. At this point, both of Susan’s knees had become sunken from the arthritis.
“What convinced me to do it was the fact that they were taking my own stem cells from my own body. Nobody else had to be involved with it. How wonderfully we are made, that we can use our own body to heal itself,” she says.
Healthy regenerative cells are present within fat tissues, bone marrow and adipose connective tissue. 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.
Susan had the procedure at 4 p.m. and felt fine enough to attend her Bible study by 7 p.m. She experienced some soreness for about a week after the procedure, but she didn’t have a hard time getting around, and hasn’t had any issues since. Her procedure was a week before Thanksgiving, and she was able to walk and stand for long periods of time – enough to make Thanksgiving dinner. Just a month later, she was very active, directing a Christmas play at her church. “My knees are round again. Just to see them come to a round shape is amazing.”
In Susan’s case, the treatment enabled healing in the knee joints and relieved her pain. She had been taking Advil every day for the arthritis pain and now lives free of all pain medications. Susan runs up and down the stairs and is back in the gym. The procedure has enabled her to “do everything she needs to do for a healthy life,” she says.
Shortly after the procedure, Susan and her husband were able to resume their active lifestyle and hiking in the Metroparks. They walk up steep hills together that would have been impossible without the stem cell treatment. “I’m just so grateful, to be able to climb whatever hill I need to,” she says.
How Does It Work?
Using ultrasound guidance for precise placement, a physician extracts platelets from blood and/or stem cells from fatty tissues or bone marrow, and concentrates them in a special centrifuge. The doctor then injects them into the injured tendon, ligament, nerve, muscle, bone or joint, again under direct visual ultrasound guidance. All of this is done in one outpatient visit. The outcome of each treatment depends upon the site and severity of the injury as well as the patient’s own healing potential.
“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 Reuben Gobezie, MD, Regen Orthopedics. “Although not all patients are candidates, we offer consultations to explore individualized treatment plans for each patient.”
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. For more information, visit www.regenorthopedics.com.