Last week, a call was placed to my office by the sponsor of a multicenter knee replacement clinical trial in which I had taken part since 2004.The FDA mandated Post Release Requirement for the Zimmer Mobile Knee had been fulfilled.  Because of my world wide teaching and visiting professorships starting in 2001, I had been asked to be a co-investigator in that initiative. My participation in part led to the release of the High-Flex Zimmer Mobile Bearing Knee in 2007 and several major clinical papers in which I was the Co-Author. As many readers of this Blog are aware, I had dedicated 37 years of my professional endeavors to integrating joint replacement research with my clinical practice at Rush for the care and treatment of the arthritic hip and knee. For the past two and a half years, I have dedicated my professional energies to assisting patients with osteoarthritis avoid or at least postpone the joint replacement.

I want to go on record; when a patient has altered function, unrelenting pain, and an image with a Kellgren/Lawrence Grade 4 osteoarthritic hip or knee, that patient needs a joint replacement. While I have called the readers’ attention to inherent risks of a joint replacement, the effected patient with medical approval will benefit from the joint replacement. On the other hand, the ever increasing evidence and my experience confirm that the patient with Grade 2 and 3 Osteoarthritis of a major joint may significantly benefit from a Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate /Stem cell intervention. The end result of an uncomplicated major joint replacement is pain relief, improved function, better motion, and correction of a deformity. The potential risks of a joint replacement gone badly require a revision or major reconstruction with major medical interventions for associated complications. The end result of a Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate /Stem Cell intervention is pain relief, improved function, better motion and continuation of or return to a very active recreational profile without risk of complication. While the stem cell procedure will not correct a deformity, it may alter the natural history of the arthritic process at the molecular level. Actually, the presence of deformity puts a patient in a Grade 4 setting and is an indication for a joint replacement; Grade 4 is a predictor of a poor result from stem cells.

Well it’s the week of Chanukah and Christmas so let’s celebrate this week of miracles with a wonderful stem cell story; it concerns hockey great Gordie Howe to be found in the Detroit Free Press. Freep.com:

http://on.freep.com/16AQIIO

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