I ski so I wasn’t in last week

If you called the office looking for me, you would have not found me as my wife and I were skiing in Vail, Colorado. Way back when, on a pediatric orthopedic rotation at the University of Utah, we spent many a weekend in Alta and Park City. When we returned to Chicago, our children’s winter and spring vacations were spent on skis. The children may have left our home and now there are grandchildren but no reason for us to quit 42years later. There is no reason for you to stop either because of arthritis.

While the incidence of joint degeneration has grown due to aging with a marked increase in sports participation and greater emphasis on physical activity in all age groups, the difficulty in treating articular cartilage lesions with their heretofore limited healing potential deserves a reconsideration on your part before you quit. Until recently, orthopedic surgeons have depended on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid injections, and steroid injections as non-invasive solutions for pain relief and improvement in function. When none of these worked, the next step was arthroscopy followed by the joint replacement shortly thereafter. With surgery usually came the end of activity for most, as scientific outcome studies do not support arthroscopy for arthritis or return to or maintenance of sports participation after a joint replacement. Enter the era of Cellular Orthopedics; Platelet Rich Plasma and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate-stem cells.

Cellular Orthopedics allows for the first time, modification of cartilage and osteoarthritis. The old way, initial pharmacologic management, carries with a high risk of potential cardiovascular and gastrointestinal toxicity. Intra-articular injections of steroids are of short term benefit and do not alter the natural history of degenerative arthritis. Current research suggests that Cellular Orthopedics offers a new method of stimulating repair or replacing damaged cartilage. In particular, the most recent evidence regarding tissue biology is that repair, pain relief and return to or continuation of activity is possible with PRP and Stem Cells. (The American Journal of Sports Medicine January 8, 2013) The method is relatively simple, relatively low cost when compared to a surgical intervention, minimally invasive and has the potential to return you to or keep you on the slopes. I have been invited to speak this June on the functional results of my first year of outcomes concerning those who I treated with Platelet Rich Plasma and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (stem cells) in 2012. Several of these patients are personal friends and, will be joining me when we return to ski in February. Stay on or return to the slopes with Cellular Orthopedics; see you at the top of Blue Sky.

 

 

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