OK, I admit it is a play on words borrowed from Ernie Banks’ famous line “Let’s play two”; but there is the same excitement and enthusiasm for what I do with stem cells as Ernie had during his playing days as “Mr. Cub”. I get the same satisfaction now when a patient returns to have a second joint treated as I did when a patient returned for a replacement of a second joint during my practice of surgery. Arthritis may be limited to one hip or one knee if the causation is remote trauma. More often the pain and limitations from arthritis affects more than one joint albeit at different degrees of involvement. At times, a patient will require several Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate interventions at one sitting; at others, the requests for the second joint come after a successful outcome of a first stem cell intervention. If the patient decides to have two joints treated at one time, the marrow draw approaches 90 CCs. On the other hand, a single joint requires 60 CCs of marrow aspiration. I discourage any consideration of a three joint intervention at one time as it means diminishing the number of Mesenchymal Stem Cells available for each arthritic joint.
I am happy to report that a number of patients, who underwent hip and knee stem cell interventions over the last 18 months, are returning for a second side. The overall observation in the majority is that they are satisfied and our goals of pain relief, improved motion, better quality of life and return to a sport have been realized. While there are several who have returned for a booster update in the original joint treated, the majority is anticipating the change in the sports related calendar. The ski season is rapidly approaching and our advances in the care of the aging athlete are being more and more recognized and sought after.
Getting ready to ski or getting ready to enjoy life in spite of arthritis, your first approach is weight reduction, Next comes fitness via aerobic exercise and strength training. Now there is new scientific evidence that Yoga can be a very efficacious approach for managing arthritis. I long ago recognized that a patient with an arthritic hip or knee who enjoyed a functional range of motion could postpone or avoid a joint replacement no matter the X-ray classification of that arthritic joint. Assume if you will that your Body Mass Index is under control, you are fit and mobile but still are unable to realize your goals. Come on in to learn how stem cells may play a role in your well being and put you back on the slopes, playing golf in a winter sojourn or realize that thrill of the exploding bone fish and tarpon as you wade the flats this winter.