So I rode about 85 miles with about 8,500 vertical feet of climbing around Lake Tahoe on Friday, and then another 50 or so miles with 4,000 feet on Saturday, and the hip didn’t bother me once. I’m still doing big stretches in the mornings. Even as I type this, I’m shaking my head, since it doesn’t seem possible and I have to pinch myself. Thank you a million times over. I feel so lucky to know you and to be blessed with your help and care.
The above was received last Sunday from a patient who is now 16 weeks post bone marrow aspirated concentrate to his right hip. He had presented to me at age 40 with chondrolysis (as part of the progression of osteoarthritis) more likely than not attributable to developmental hip dysplasia. By the same token, I could not rule out Femoral Acetabular Impingement. The patient was not only an avid bicyclist; he makes his living through the cycling industry. Over the previous year, the symptoms in his right hip had progressed to a point that he couldn’t swing his leg over the center post of his bike. He sought medical help when he could no longer walk a city block without pausing from the pain.
My patient’s story is of particular interest because there is little published evidence concerning the effect of stem cells on the hip. To date, most attention has been directed to stem cells and the knee. Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog focused on the outcome of stem cells for a marathon runner assigned a diagnosis of a torn acetabular labrum.16 weeks following a bone marrow aspirate concentrate procedure to her problematic hip, she returned to marathon running. The cyclist returned to cycling in a similar time. Imagine, 16 weeks ago, he had difficulty walking and now he is riding up mountains for almost unlimited distances. We don’t have statistical data yet pertaining to outcomes of stem cells for the hip; but I believe these patients stories are the start of a new approach to the arthritic hip and possibly preventing the progression to the need for a joint replacement. Only outcomes studies will confirm if we are postponing or preventing a surgical procedure. To that end, I have introduced an outcomes clinical study initiative based on the model I used for joint replacement publications and scientific presentations over 35 years of surgical practice. I am recruiting several Regenerative Medicine based practices to pool data so our number of patients under observation will lead to statistically meaningful clinical science. Since the introduction of stem cell management of the hip, I am continually amazed at the early results.