The 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has ended and the Orthopedic Surgical community is now very aware of what we have been accomplishing in Cellular Orthopedics for almost four years. In Orlando, Orthopedic Surgeons, “Camp Followers”, and the health care industry in general was updated on that for which we have been gathering data for four years in my Chicago office and seven to eight years at Regenexx. The orthopedic surgeon is unique in the field of surgery as the entire specialty is voluntarily governed by Evidence-Based Medicine. Such is not necessarily the case in others who are licensed to treat musculoskeletal disease and injury. Now that the outcomes are being reported with up to four years of Data to support what I do, patients should anticipate a marked increase in those offering cellular orthopedic alternatives to sports injury and arthritic limiting disease without proper acknowledgement behind the basis of their recommendations.

First and foremost, if you have a musculoskeletal based impairment of any kind, the first step is an accurate diagnosis starting with a history and physical examination. Next follow the X-ray and then the MRI if needed. Once the diagnosis is clearly and accurately defined and graded, then should a discussion ensue about the role of pain management, surgery or cellular orthopedic interventions. I am very concerned about the increasing frequency of media placements by those not educated, or for that matter, licensed to complete cellular orthopedic interventions.

My other concern is that once the orthopedic surgeon becomes aware of our non operative stem cell successes; there will occur (actually it has already started) a rush to get involved in Regenerative Medicine; wherein up until now, the same professionals have refused to acknowledge our successes. In any new undertaking, the term “learning curve” may be applied. Patient heed my warning, don’t fall victim to the learning curve. A cellular orthopedic intervention is a complex process; much more than several needle sticks. A successful Regenerative Medicine procedure requires a proper six week patient preparation, an understanding by the professional of what  pharmaceutical agents might disrupt a stem cell success, the proper management of the Bone marrow Aspirate, the timely introduction, preparation, and management of adjunctive Platelet Rich Plasma with all of the above carried out in an appropriate environment. There is no place for “bedside” machines and the FDA may put an end to office based procedures in the near future. Last of all, only experience may lead to the most appropriate recommendation as to whom is a proper candidate for stem cells.

Would you want a family practitioner to do your Total Joint Replacement? Would you let a chiropractor do your arthroscopy? Do you want to be the first to receive a new treatment and be part of a clinician’s “learning curve”?  The Regenexx Network of Physicians has been involved with an innovation and alternative to surgery for Afflictions of the Musculoskeletal System; we have already learned.

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