It is about 15 years since I exchanged a scalpel for a needle; that is graduating from surgically replacing hips and knees to assisting patients impaired by pain and limited function from osteoarthritis to delaying, perhaps avoiding a joint replacement. During my many years of surgically replacing hips and knees at a major academic medical center in Chicago, where I became head of the joint replacement program and professor of Orthopedic Surgery, I collected outcomes data as I practiced thereby pioneering the integration of patient care with orthopedic research. The result was close to 100 scientific orthopedic publications influencing how joint replacements are carried out today; be it the cementless hip and knee replacement, the unicompartmental knee replacement, the long-term survivorship of a hip or knee prosthesis, the introduction of the mobile bearing knee prosthesis, robotic-assisted joint replacement, etc., etc., etc. At every step, it was the outcomes data collected that in part, led to how joint replacement surgery is practiced today.
When I graduated to a needle in lieu of a knife, cellular orthopedics, instead of a prosthesis, I used stem cells, platelets, and proteins taken from the patient’s own body to minimize or eliminate pain, improve function and at times even regenerate an arthritic joint. Now the skier, runner, cyclist, tennis player, golfer, hunter, sailor, runner, and fly fisherman could continue or return to their recreational passions. Along the way, as indicated, I used a variety of cell-based treatment options including concentrated bone marrow, microfractured adipose tissue, Platelet Rich Plasma, Plasma Rich Growth Factors, Protease Inhibitors, and subchondroplasty. Each and every patient was entered into our database allowing me to practice evidence-based Regenerative Medicine. By so doing, I was able to provide my patient with the best alternative to meet a particular need. At the same time, because of my evidence-based approach, I was able to publish several leading articles, again influencing clinical practice but this time in Regenerative Medicine rather than joint replacement surgery. Additionally, because of my commitment to an evidence-based practice, I was invited to participate in, to the best of my knowledge, the first FDA-approved use of adipose-derived stem cells for an arthritic knee sponsored by Personalized Stem Cells. That Clinical Trial was completed and a submission to the FDA for a second Trial, this time using culture-expanded cells is waiting for approval.
At present, I am participating in two clinical studies, one focused on Bone Marrow Concentrate and the second, on Microfractured Adipose Tissue for the arthritic joint. Regarding the latter, Rotator Cuff tears around the shoulder are included in The Study based on successes in tennis professionals. For those who meet the inclusion criteria for either Study and choose to participate, there is a significant cost reduction in care. To learn more schedule a consultation by calling (312) 475-1893 or visit my website at www.sheinkopmd.com. Enrollment for the Bone Marrow Concentrate and Microfractured Adipose Tissue Study will continue into early July.