That’s what we are trying to achieve and it has been successful in over 85% of the patients I have treated since June of 2012 when I joined the Regenexx network. As readers of this Blog have learned, I undertook the sojourn into Cellular Orthopedics after having enjoyed a 40-year surgical career centered on Adult Reconstructive Orthopedic Surgery (Joint Replacements). As I reached the milestones where I had achieved my goals in surgery, I recognized an opportunity to take on a new challenge; avoiding, certainly postponing the need for a joint replacement by embracing a new world of Regenerative Medicine. Basic science researchers had identified the pain relieving, joint restoration and chondrogenic possibilities of the adult mesenchymal stem cells readily available in bone marrow. As I had played a role in pioneering cementless hip and knee replacements in the 1970s, I decided to take on the challenge of advancing the care of the aging athlete with those stem cells.
In looking back over the past 18 months, I have played a very active role in not only developing a very gratifying clinical presence in the world of Regenerative Orthopedics, I have contributed significantly to the Regenexx initiative in clinical research. The reason for reflection is two recent scientific articles that underscore the appropriateness of my decision-making. Three weeks ago, an article was published by Norwegian Orthopedic Surgeons describing their success in postponing hip replacements by five years in more than 50% of patients who would have probably undergone a hip replacement had they lived in America. More significantly though is the article published earlier this month documenting all the potential of cellular orthopedics in a laboratory setting. What is significant about the paper is not the restatement of what we already know but rather the authors themselves. As I have suggested to you in the past, the orthopedic surgical community has been totally opposed my notion of helping a patient postpone, perhaps avoid a joint replacement by stem cell intervention. A co-author of the scientific endeavor describing all the virtues of cellular orthopedics juts happens to be one of the previous nay- sayers. Certainly there have been several patients who have not responded long term to my clinical attempts at avoiding a joint replacement. It turns out that the four patients had advanced arthritis of the hip when I undertook their care. Regenexx and I are busy this week trying to better identify those arthritic hip joint candidates where in stem cells would not be of benefit, by statistically analyzing our hip outcomes database. What makes our Regenerative Cellular Orthopedic clinical practice different is the fact that I have incorporated the same integration of Clinical Research and Clinical Practice in my Cellular Orthopedic endeavors as I did when serving as Director of the Joint Replacement Program at Rush for many years. Ours is not just a procedure; it is a dynamic integration of outcomes observation and clinical advances.