The holiday season is here and along with it, the customary retrospectives and predictions. Here in Chicago, we could look back at the weather a week ago or look forward to the opening of the Western ski resorts and the new opening date of trout fishing in Wisconsin’s Driftless area on January 2nd. For those who want to cycle through the winter, the choice is spin class or the new world of winter friendly bikes. Whatever your interest, be it indoors or outdoors, you need not be limited by arthritis. The new world of Regenerative Medicine and Interventional Orthopedics offers pain relief, improved function, better motion and a maintenance or return to an active life style. Vail opened on November 20, and my wife and I will soon be there for a tune up. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I will be shopping for the winterized bike and we are scheduling a fly fishing outing to Wisconsin sometime during the first two weeks in January. While it seems strange to think of trout fishing in the winter, the notion of a reason for a snowshoe hike is new and stimulating.

Last week, along with the follow-ups and new patients, two individuals exemplify what Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate/ Stem Cell interventions make possible. A 67 year old man with an osteoarthritic knee works in heating and air conditioning; wherein as part of his job description, he climbs ladders while occasionally squatting and kneeling.  While he plans to retire at age 70, he doesn’t want to take on the risk of a knee replacement adverse outcome now nor does he want to take up to three months post operative for rehabilitation. After my evaluation and review of images, he elected to schedule an Orthopedic Cellular intervention with the plan to return to a minimum demand work profile for four to six weeks following the intervention; but only one week away from work. The patient is aware he may still come to a joint replacement; but if he does, it would be well after retirement.

The second patient was a 70 year old man, who had been scheduled for a shoulder replacement and a hip replacement.  The appointment was really for his wife; but while he was in the office, after hearing my informed consent for his wife’s knee; he requested my input after examining him and reviewing the fact that he didn’t want to lose a winter of skiing. When all was said and done, he scheduled a Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate/ Stem Cell intervention to his shoulder and hip, cancelled his hip and shoulder replacements, and booked his winter travel to Beaver Creek.

The above are examples of what is possible with Interventional Orthopedics. Before closing with a customary wish for a Happy Thanksgiving, let me share how I have been regenerated by a knee intervention. In anticipation of a full house over the holidays, I spent three hours, Saturday afternoon on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor with a microfiber cloth and a 10% solution of vinegar.

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