Although Orthobiologics and Cellular Orthopedic interventions generally result in excellent pain relief and return to or maintenance of a high degree of function, approximately 20 percent of patients have persistent functional deficits that affect their quality of life as I have learned after review of three and a half  years of Regenexx procedures for the hip and knee.

It looks as if lumbar spine problems are a common cause of functional disability in patients presenting with hip and knee arthritis. While, I didn’t perform a particular study, in reviewing those with less than optimal outcomes from my first three plus years of Regenerative Medical procedures, I observed that patients with a prior history of lumbar spine problems had significantly worse hip and knee functional scores when compared to the majority who did well and had no documentation of a preexisting spinal abnormality.

The results of my observations mirror multiple previous studies that have found poor pre operative and post operative knee and hip function in patients undergoing a joint replacement who had a spinal degenerative co-morbidity. Through the review of our data base, we have identified the problem. Now I must determine the alternatives in dealing with the problem. First of all, from here on out, all new and returning patients will be questioned about their back related symptoms; and when deemed appropriate, images will be requested. If a significant degenerative disc or joint process is identified then the patient will be appropriately advised and referred for timely intervention. As of this writing, the options are either classical pain management or surgical in nature. The good news is that included in classical pain management for the spine is a very successful approach focusing on weight reduction, Pilates core strengthening, and Tai Chi, yoga or stretching. The failure of these non operative approaches is based on the failure of a patient to commit three or four days a week. The next level of pain management is injection based. Historically, an epidural series has been the standard but more recently, Regenexx introduced PRP as a safer and longer lasting approach. As of this writing, Regenexx and others have introduced intradiscal procedures, but I want more outcomes before I recommend such.

As far as what I do for arthritis, there will be more attention to devoted to the patient’s back when we do the intake for an arthritic joint. On the other hand, we do have several improvements and additions in our ever evolving menu of services for the arthritis hip and knee. To learn more, schedule a consultation:

847 390 7666

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