Who doesn’t want a joint replacement for arthritis? For one, count me out as long as there are other options for dealing with my symptoms. As you will learn, I was head of a joint replacement program at a major medical center for the last 15 years of my orthopedic surgical life and performed over 20 thousand hip and knee replacements over my 38-year surgical career. Yet, every orthopedic surgeon has an ethical and professional obligation to stay abreast of the accelerating knowledge expansion occurring in the musculoskeletal sciences. The covenant that exists between surgeon and patient requires acceptance of this obligation; that’s why I am sharing with you these advances in the care of the aging athlete.
Let’s start with Patient Education and lifestyle modifications
1) Participate in self-management educational programs such as those conducted by the Arthritis Foundation, and incorporate activity modifications (e.g. walking, swimming, and biking, instead of running) into your lifestyle.
2) Those overweight (as defined by a BMI>25) should lose 5% of body weight and maintain their weight
3) Participate in low-impact aerobic fitness exercises
4) Yoga is great for your joint mobility
5) Strengthen your thigh muscles with a physical therapist and maintain such with regular visits to a health club
1) Use a patellar stabilizing knee brace available in any pharmacy
2) Shoe Orthotics do not benefit your knee
Complimentary and Alternative Therapy
1) The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that we do not prescribe such for symptomatic osteoarthritis
1) Acetaminophen (not to exceed 4 grams per day)
2) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
1) Corticosteroids three times a year may offer short-term relief
2) Hyaluronic acid may offer longer-term relief
Recognizing that Arthritis is a normal physiologic effect of aging and assuming you have applied all of aforementioned non-operative treatment plans, what is the current state of cartilage regeneration before considering a joint replacement? Allow me to introduce you to the new world of Cellular Orthopedics (Regenerative Medicine). By using your own stem cells normally present in your bone marrow, we are now able to control the symptoms of osteoarthritis, improve joint mobility, increase your functional capacity, possibly reverse the progression of the arthritic changes, delay or eliminate the need for the joint replacement and perhaps, regenerate your cartilage. Those are a lot of goals; how might your adult stem cells make it possible? Bone Marrow Concentrate contains mesenchymal stem cells that serve both an anti-inflammatory and bio-immune modulating function. They can facilitate regeneration of tissue and cartilage damaged by arthritis. Following aspiration of bone marrow from your pelvis, the marrow is centrifuged and available for a same –day procedure with minimal manipulation of cells following FDA Guidelines. The fundamental science supports great potential of stem cells. Over the past 18 months, I have used this approach in over 200 arthritic patients with no adverse affects. There has been over 75% patient satisfaction at the knee, hip, shoulder and ankle including two wrist interventions as well. That was in the first year. The numbers improved in the second year as we gained experience and insight into those who would most likely benefit. To see if you might benefit from Cellular Orthopedics, schedule an appointment